Amidst the absence of most Opposition members due to recent suspensions, the Lok Sabha successfully passed a bill today (21 December) to establish a new mechanism for appointing Chief Election Commissioners (CEC) and Election Commissioners (EC).
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha had already given its approval to the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service, and Term of Office) Bill 2023. The Bill maintains the status of the ECs at a level equivalent to that of Supreme Court judges.
During the legislative discussion in the Lok Sabha, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal highlighted that the 1991 Act addressing the service conditions of top election officials was incomplete, and the current bill addresses the areas previously omitted. The bill proceeded to be passed through a voice vote.
The legislation aims to standardise the appointment process for the CEC and ECs by forming a three-member selection committee, which includes the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and a Cabinet Minister.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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