Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and to ensure it, an Election commission free from any political pressure is of paramount importance. In this context, discuss the need to have a relook at the process of appointment and removal of election commissioners to the ECI.

Article 324 provides for an independent election commission to conduct free and fair elections.

Recent allegations:

  • Political influence in curtailing campaign period in West Bengal during 2019 elections.
  • Lack of punitive action against the ruling party.
  • Allegations of EVM malfunction and tempering.

Mode of appointment:

  • Chief EC and ECs appointed by the President on advice of the Prime Minister.
  • Leads to doubt on independence.
  • Independent and consultative appointment procedure needed, involving government, leader of opposition and the chief justice of India.

Mode of removal:

  • Can be removed in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Ruling party with a majority may misuse this privilege.
  • Removal must be independent preferably through a Judicial route.

The independence of ECI is essential to a healthy democracy. Adequate measures should be taken to ensure the same.

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