Give us power to make poll rules, EC tells SC

The Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File

The Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court that it should be given the power to make rules under the electoral law, instead of the Centre.

“Rulemaking authority under the Representation of the People Act 1950 and Representation of the People Act, 1951, should be conferred on the Election Commission, instead of on the Central government, which should, however, be consulted by the Election Commission while framing any rule,” the ECI said in an affidavit.

The EC said conferment of rulemaking authority under the 1950 Act was part of its proposals for electoral reforms in 1998 and 2004. The proposal was reiterated in December 2016, it said.

The top poll body filed the affidavit in response to a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for clarity on the procedure for removal of the two Election Commissioners, unlike the Chief Election Commissioner.

Pitch for independence

“The rationale behind not affording similar protection to other ECs is not explicable. The element of independence under the Constitution is not exclusively for an individual alone but for the whole institution... Thus, the independence of the Commission can only be strengthened if the Election Commissioners are also provided with the same protection as that of the Chief Election Commissioner,” the EC said.

It also explained that Article 324 was inadequate and requires an amendment to provide the very same protection and safeguard in the matter of removability of Election Commissioners from office as is available to the CEC.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 3:06:07 AM |

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