Explained: Why Election Commission of India Faces Attacks on Its Independency

Total Views : 447
Zoom In Zoom Out Read Later Print

In summary, while the ECI is considered a pillar of democracy, challenges to its independence persist due to the absence of a robust legal framework for appointments. Legislative action is necessary to address these issues and ensure the commission's effectiveness in safeguarding the electoral process.

New Delhi (ABC Live): The Lok Sabha elections 2024 is fast approaching and the resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel has raised the political temperature of India.

The frequent attacks on the independence of the Election Commission of India hamper the public trust in democracy; therefore urgent actions are warranted to make Indian democracy as one of the lively democracies of the World.

The following are Concerned areas:

Appointment Process: The process of appointing the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners in India has been a subject of debate. While Article 324(2) of the Indian Constitution gives the President the authority to appoint them, concerns have been raised about the lack of checks and balances in this process. The absence of a specific law governing these appointments has led to criticisms regarding the potential for executive influence.

Supreme Court Intervention: The Supreme Court of India has intervened in this matter through a Writ Petition (Civil) N0.104 of 2015 titled Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India, recognizing the need for a more transparent and accountable appointment process. In the absence of legislation, the court outlined guidelines for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, emphasizing the involvement of key stakeholders such as the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and Chief Justice of India.

Challenges to Independence: Despite the efforts of individuals like T.N. Seshan to enhance the independence and credibility of the ECI, challenges persist. The lack of a robust legal framework for appointments, coupled with potential political interference, continues to undermine the commission's autonomy. The absence of detailed selection criteria for candidates further adds to concerns about the ECI's independence.

Call for Legislative Action: The excerpt underscores the need for legislative action to address these issues comprehensively. While the Supreme Court has provided interim measures, a permanent solution requires the enactment of a law in line with Article 324(2) of the Constitution. Such legislation would establish clear guidelines for the appointment and functioning of the ECI, enhancing its fairness and independence.

Role of ECI: Despite these challenges, the ECI has played a crucial role in upholding the integrity of India's electoral process. Efforts to strengthen the commission's independence through transparency, accountability, and institutional safeguards are essential for preserving democracy in India.

In summary, while the ECI is considered a pillar of democracy, challenges to its independence persist due to the absence of a robust legal framework for appointments. Legislative action is necessary to address these issues and ensure the commission's effectiveness in safeguarding the electoral process.

See More

Latest Photos