lok sabha secretariat

On 21-12-2023, the Lok Sabha passed the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. This Bill seeks to replace the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.

It provides for the appointment, salary, conditions of service, tenure and removal of the Chief Election Commissioner (‘CEC’) and Election Commissioners (‘ECs’).

The Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 10-08-2023 and was moved for consideration today. Earlier, the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 12-12-2023, even as opposition parties staged a walkout today in protest against what they described as executive overreach and a gradual erosion of the Election Commission’s independence.

The key changes in the bill includes

  1. Removal of the Chief Justice from the selection Committee in the appointment of CEC and ECs.

  2. The President would appoint the CEC and ECs based on the recommendations of a selection committee comprising of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister and the Leader of the Opposition or the leader of the largest opposition.

  3. The recommendations of this committee will be valid even in absence of any member thereof.

  4. The bill additionally incorporates a clause designed to protect the CEC and ECs from legal repercussions concerning actions conducted within their tenure, given that such actions were executed in the fulfilment of their official responsibilities.

  5. The primary objective was to grant these officials immunity from civil or criminal proceedings associated with their official duties.

Source: The Press

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