Key Bill on Election Commissioners Listed for Special Session


The Bill, if it comes into effect, will negate the Supreme Court’s March 2023 judgement…reports Asian Lite News

A Bill to regulate the appointment, conditions of service, and term of office of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners is among the legislative business of the government for the upcoming Special Session of Parliament, beginning on September 18.

As per the Parliamentary Bulletin, apart from the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023, and The Post Office Bill, 2023, are among the bills listed for the five-sitting long Special Session.

The Bill on Appointment of Election Commissioners was introduced in Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session on 10 August.

This Bill also deals with the procedure for the transaction of business by the Election Commission. Besides, it proposes that the Election Commissioners will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will chair the panel.

The Bill, if it comes into effect, will negate the Supreme Court’s March 2023 judgement that held that the appointment of Election Commissioners will be done by the President on the advice of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India. However, in its judgement, the apex court had held that the procedure underlined by it would hold till a law is enacted by Parliament.

The proposed bill also evoked sharp reactions from the opposition parties with the Congress leader KC Venugopal earlier stating that the legislation aims to make the Election Commission a “puppet in the hands of Prime Minister”.

The Special Session will be held from September 18 to 22.

The Parliamentary Bulletin, also mentioned that a discussion on “Parliamentary Journey of 75 years starting from Samvidhan Sabha – Achievements, Experiences, Memories and Learnings” will be held in Lok Sabha on the first day of the upcoming session.

‘One Nation, One Election’

Amid uproar over the Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Election’ concept of holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies across the country, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said that the Commission is ready to conduct elections as per legal provisions.

“According to the legal procedures, the Constitution and RP Act, we have the mandate to conduct the election and we are ready,” Kumar said while responding to the reporters on ‘One Nation, One Election, in a press conference held on the preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

“Our duty is to deliver elections before time as per constitutional provisions and the RP Act. Article 83 (2) says that 5 years will be the term of the Parliament and its corresponding section 14 of the RP Act says that 6 months before, we can announce the elections. A similar situation exists for the state assemblies. As per legal provisions, we are always ready to conduct the elections”, he said.

Meanwhile, the centre on Saturday constituted an eight-member High-Level Committee to examine the issue of ‘one nation, one election’ and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections in the country.

Apart from the Chairperson, the committee will include Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission chairperson NK Singh, senior advocate Harish Salve, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash C Kashyap, and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari. (ANI)

Govt Calls All-Party Meeting

Ahead of the special session of Parliament, a meeting of the floor leaders of all parties has been called on September 17, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi informed on Wednesday.

A five-day special session of the Parliament will be held from September 18 to 22.

“Ahead of the parliament session from the 18th of this month, an all-party floor leaders meeting has been convened on the 17th at 4.30 PM,” Minister Pralhad Joshi posted on social media platform X, (Formerly Twitter).

“The invitation for the same has been sent to concerned leaders through email. Letter to follow,” he added.

The opposition has also criticised the BJP-led central government for calling a special session of Parliament without disclosing the agenda.

Earlier, the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister informed about the five-day special session of Parliament from September 18-22.

The agenda for the special session was however not revealed yet.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament, which concluded last month, was held in the old Parliament building. The announcement of the Special Session came as a surprise in political circles with the parties gearing up for assembly polls in five states later this year. (ANI)

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