Supreme Court refuses to stay appointments of new ECs under 2023 law [15.3.2024]

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the appointments of new election commissioners (ECs) under a 2023 law that excluded the chief justice of India from the selection panel.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and Augustine George Masih told the petitioners, who pointed out that a meeting for the selection of ECs was pre-poned, to file a separate application pointing out the fact.

Refusing to stay the appointments made in accordance with the 2023 law, the bench said, "Normally and generally, we do not stay a law by way of an interim order."

It deferred the hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the appointment of two ECs under the 2023 law.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing in the court on behalf of petitioner Jaya Thakur, said when a judgment is passed, there cannot be any transgression.

He contended that there was a clear-cut transgression in the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023.

Former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Sandhu were appointed as election commissioners on Thursday. They were selected by a panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two vacancies in the Election Commission had arisen after the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey on February 14 and the sudden resignation of Arun Goel.

15 Mar 2024