Bill on EC appointments gives more power to PM-led panel


The prime minister-led panel for the selection of the chief election commissioner and election commissioners will have the power to consider even those not short-listed by the cabinet secretary-led Search Committee, according to a bill introduced in Parliament.
According to Section 6 of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, a Search Committee headed by the cabinet secretary and comprising of two other members not below the rank of secretary, having knowledge and experience in matters relating to elections, shall prepare a panel of five persons for consideration of the Selection Committee for appointment as the CEC and ECs.
According to section 8 (2) of the proposed law, the Selection Committee may also consider any other person than those included in the panel by the Search Committee.
Section 7 (1) of the bill states that the CEC and ECs will be appointed by the president on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of the prime minister, who will be the chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the prime minister as members.