The Supreme Court on Friday held that independent persons, and not government employees, should be appointed Election Commissioners.
A Bench led by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, in a judgment, said giving government employees additional charge as Election Commissioners was a mockery of the Constitution.
The Bench held that people holding public office could not be appointed Election Commissioners and directed States to comply with the constitutional scheme of independent and fair functioning of election commissions. It said the independence of the panels could not be compromised.
The court said it was disturbing to see government employees manning election commissions as an add-on job.
The judgment came on an appeal against an order of the Bombay High Court, which had set aside the election notification issued by the Goa State Election Commission in the municipalities of Margao, Mapusa, Mormugao, Sanguem and Quepem.