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Supreme Court Declines Stay on Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act, 2023

Supreme Court of India

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by News Desk

Introduction:


The Supreme Court has issued a detailed order regarding a batch of pleas seeking a stay on the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act, 2023. This act removes the Chief Justice of India from the panel responsible for appointing election commissioners. The court’s decision comes amidst concerns raised by petitioners, including Congress leader Jaya Thakur and the Association for Democratic Reforms, regarding executive overreach and encroachment on the election commission’s autonomy.

Issue:


The central question before the court was whether to grant a stay on the implementation of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act, 2023, in light of concerns raised by the petitioners regarding its constitutionality and impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.

Rule:


The court cited the Constitution Bench judgment in Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India, highlighting that the current selection committee was established as a temporary measure until legislation was enacted by Parliament. It emphasized the principle of judicial restraint in passing interim orders, unless a statutory provision is found to be unconstitutional or blatantly violates fundamental rights.

Analysis:


While acknowledging concerns over procedural irregularities in the appointment process of two new Election Commissioners, the court refrained from granting a stay, citing potential disruption to the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. It emphasized the importance of procedural integrity in the selection process but noted that the qualifications of the appointed officers were not in question.

Conclusion:


In its order, the Supreme Court declined to grant a stay on the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act, 2023. While acknowledging procedural concerns raised by the petitioners, the court prioritized the smooth conduct of the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. The decision underscores the principle of judicial restraint in matters involving the constitutional validity of legislation.

Written by — Athi Venkatesh AVD

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