Parliament Session: The Modi government at the Center has called a special session of the Parliament. According to the Parliamentary Ministry, this session will run from 18 September 2023 to 22 September. The government says that the main objective of this session is to discuss the achievements of the last 75 years after independence. G20 event will also be discussed and efforts will be made to pass four bills.
Among the four bills that will be discussed in Parliament, one bill is most special and that is the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioner (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. It will be discussed first in the Rajya Sabha, although it It has already been introduced in the Upper House. After passing from the Rajya Sabha, this bill will be introduced in the Lok Sabha, but political parties, constitutional experts and journalists covering politics are uneasy about this bill, because they fear that this bill will destroy the independence, impartiality and transparency of the Election Commission. Can do.
What are the apprehensions regarding this bill?
EC-CEC (Appointment, Service Conditions Bill 2023) This bill for appointment says that there will be a three-member committee for the appointment of the Election Commissioner. The Prime Minister will be the chairman of that three-member committee. The leader of the opposition (if there is no leader of the opposition, the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha) will be the second member of that committee, while the third member will be appointed by the Prime Minister and that member will be a cabinet minister in the central government. This provision of this bill is the root of all apprehensions.
In such a situation, the people opposing the bill fear that the Election Commission is still an independent institution, which will come under the control of the government after the bill is passed. He has also expressed apprehension that this may destroy the fairness of future elections.
How will transparency end?
Actually, there will be two people from the government (Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister) in this three-member committee. In such a situation, it is feared that his choice will have more importance in the appointment of the Election Commissioner. The government can appoint an election commissioner of its choice. Political parties say that the Prime Minister also leads a party and when the same party contests the elections, then will the Commissioner of the Election Commission, who is responsible for the fairness of the elections, be able to take independent decisions? The answer is no.
Won’t the Election Commissioner’s own political ideology (since the ruling party will elect an official of its choice) come in the way of him discharging his duties? In such a situation, what importance will he give to the legitimate views of leaders of other parties? Will you resolve their complaints? If not, then will the autonomy of the Election Commission not be lost?"text-align: justify;">‘…and the stature of the Election Commissioner will be reduced’
Till now, the powers of the head of the Election Commission were equal to those of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice is equivalent to the President of India. In the Constitution, while the Chief Justice is not above the President, he is not even before him. That means both are dependent on each other. This shows the autonomy of democracy. Similar powers were given to the Chief Election Commissioner. That means he was free. This will not happen after this bill is passed.
The purpose of keeping the Election Commissioner free from political and government pressure was to prevent any political representative of any position from violating the rules at the time of elections. However, it is being claimed that this bill talks about reducing the cost of the Election Commissioner’s signature. According to the opposing parties, it has been said in this bill that the post of Election Commissioner will be equal to that of the Cabinet Secretary, that is, his post will be lower than the Minister of State in the Central Government. Its disadvantage is that at the time of elections, with what authority will he take action against any Union Minister or Prime Minister for violating the rules?
How to give orders if the post is reduced?
Sources associated with the Commission say, ‘At present, when the Commissioner appoints a government official – like the Law Secretary at the Center or the Cabinet Secretary or a State When the Chief Secretary of the Central Government is called for a meeting or seeks an explanation in respect of any lapse or willful disobedience of his instructions, his order is to do so. This order is considered to bear the authority of a Supreme Court judge. They are not their equal.
The Election Commission is not a department of the government but an independent constitutional body. It is being claimed that when this institution comes under the control of the government, will the fairness and transparency of the elections in the country not be affected?"text-align: justify;">Also read: Parliament Special Session: What is there in those 4 bills? For which the government called a special session of Parliament, who will benefit from it, know