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Fine-tune Election Commissioners appointment procedures: former CEC

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WARM WELCOME: Former judge of the Supreme Court of India S. Natarajan (left) greeting T.S. Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner at a book release function in Chennai on Sunday .
WARM WELCOME: Former judge of the Supreme Court of India S. Natarajan (left) greeting T.S. Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner at a book release function in Chennai on Sunday .

Special Correspondent

“Disparity among the officers can be removed if all of them are treated alike”

Former judge of the Supreme Court S. Natarajan released T.S. Krishna Murthy’s book

Cost of holding elections in the country had gone by 130 times since 1954

CHENNAI: Former Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishna Murthy on Sunday called for fine-tuning the present system of appointing and removing of Election Commissioners to avoid controversies in the future.

Delivering a lecture on “the much needed reforms in the Indian electoral process” organised by Dr. Chitra S. Narayanaswamy Centenary Trust, he said: “the messy situation we are in today would not have been there, if the Centre had carried the changes as suggested by us some five years back. It is a pity that nothing has happened. None of them had championed for the electoral reforms.”

Mr. Murthy suggested that the appointment of Election Commissioners should be approved by the Parliament or in consultation with the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Chief Justice of India and the leader of opposition. Many western countries followed the system of getting approval from the Parliament.

“The Chief Election Commissioner cannot remove an Election Commissioner; he can only recommend it to the President. The anomaly pertaining to appointment or removal of Election Commissioners should have been set right in 1991 itself, when two more officers were appointed by the Centre. But it was not so. The disparity among the officers can be removed if all of them are treated alike,” he said.

Referring to the present spat between the Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, he said: “we used to have difference of opinion among ourselves, but used to iron it out. In the end, 99 per cent of our decisions were unanimous. I am deeply worried about the future of Election Commission of India.”

Former judge of the Supreme Court S. Natarajan released Krishna Murthy’s book on ‘Miracle of democracy – India’s amazing journey’ in Tamil that was translated by K.C. Lakshminaryanan.

The title of the book is ‘Valuvanaa Therdal Commission: Valamaana Jananayagam.

In his address, Justice Natarajan said it is a wake up call and something has to be done immediately with regard to electoral process otherwise conducting elections would be a meaningless affair.

He pointed out that the cost of holding elections in the country had gone by 130 times since 1954 and India cannot afford to spend so much.

Mr. Lakshminarayanan said that the book has been translated in Tamil to create awareness among the public. The book is divided into 11 chapters and sends strong message on several topics.

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