Government Official Cannot Be Election Commissioner: Supreme Court

Government Official Cannot Be Election Commissioner: Supreme Court

New Delhi, March 12 (TNA) The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that no central and state government employee can be appointed as Election Commissioner anywhere in the country. The purpose of this order is to ensure the independence of the Election Commissions, it stated further.

The Supreme Court has given this decision in the matter of giving additional charge of the State Election Commissioner to the Secretary to the Government of Goa.

A bench of Justices Rohinton F. Nariman and BR Gavai issued this instruction exercising their powers under Articles 142 and 144 of the Constitution. Under Article 142, the Supreme Court is empowered to issue directions to the court to do 'full justice', while Article 144 obligates all officers to act in aid of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court said that in a democracy, the independence of the Election Commission cannot be compromised. At the same time, the court said that handing over the additional charge of State Election Commissioner to a person sitting in a post in government is a mockery of the constitution.

This Bench of the Supreme Court held that Election Commissioners should be 'independent persons' and that no person, who held or held office of profit under the Central or any State Government, could be appointed an Election Commissioner.

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