SC refuses to stay new law on appointment of CEC, ECs by panel excluding CJI, issues notice

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the operation of the new law that provides for appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners by a panel which does not include the Chief Justice of India.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued notice to the Centre on a plea filed by an NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms, and listed the matter along with other pending petitions on the issue for hearing in April.

The plea challenged the constitutional validity of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, submitted the law is contrary to the constitution bench judgement of the apex court which had directed that the CJI be there on the panel that would appoint the CEC and ECs.

He said two election commissioners are about to superannuate, and if the operation of the law is not stayed, the plea will become infructuous.

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