2 Ballot Commissioners Picked, Congress Says 6 Names, 10 Minutes Earlier than Meet


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Sukhbir Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar are retired IAS officers of the 1988-batch

New Delhi:

Bureaucrats Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar have been chosen for the 2 vacant posts within the high panel of Election Fee of India, Congress’s chief in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury informed the media this afternoon.

Mr Chowdhury was a part of the panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pick two Election Commissioners to help Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar because the ballot physique prepares for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Moreover the Prime Minister and Mr Chowdhury, Union House Minister Amit Shah was on the panel.

The Congress chief hit out on the Centre over the legislation that changed the Chief Justice of India by a Union Minister on the choice committee. “The Chief Justice of India ought to have been on this committee,” he mentioned, including that the legislation introduced final 12 months had lowered the assembly to a “formality”. “The federal government is within the majority on the panel. What they need occurs.”

The Congress chief mentioned he was given 212 names for scrutiny final evening. “I had requested for a shortlist in order that I can study the candidates. However I didn’t get that chance. I reached Delhi at midnight and the assembly was at midday at present. I used to be given 212 names, how can somebody study so many candidates in a day? Ten minutes earlier than the assembly, I used to be given a shortlist of 6 names,” he mentioned.

“It was fait accompli that the chosen two will likely be chosen. Nevertheless, I attempted to intervene in an applicable method in order to bolster the establishment. That is why, earlier than my arrival in Delhi, I sought a shortlist. They gave me a listing of all candidates, numbering 212. Now you possibly can think about if, in a single evening, it’s humanly attainable for me to look at 212 names and discover out probably the most competent particular person amongst them,” he mentioned.

The Congress chief mentioned he had given a dissent observe, questioning the process of choice.

Mr Chowdhury additionally referred to Arun Goel’s resignation as Election Commissioner, which has sparked a row. “When Mr Goel was appointed, the Supreme Courtroom had made a ‘lightning velocity’ comment. He got here with a lightning velocity and left with digital velocity,” he mentioned.

Mr Sandhu and Mr Kumar are retired IAS officers of the 1988 batch. Whereas Mr Sandhu is from the Uttarakhand cadre of IAS, Mr Kumar is from the Kerala cadre.

Mr Sandhu has earlier held key authorities positions, together with the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand and chairman of the Nationwide Highways Authority of India. Mr Kumar has served as secretary within the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the Amit Shah-led Ministry of Cooperation.

The 2 officers have been chosen for the Election Commissioner posts a day earlier than the Supreme Courtroom hears petitions difficult the choice course of.

Within the present course of, a search committee led by the Regulation Minister prepares a shortlist. Then, a variety panel led by the Prime Minister and comprising the Chief of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and a Union Minister makes the ultimate selection.

The Supreme Courtroom had in March final 12 months dominated that the panel should have the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. However the Centre thereafter introduced a legislation to interchange the Chief Justice by a Union Minister. The change has tilted the method within the favour of the Centre.

The Affiliation for Democratic Reforms and Congress chief Jaya Thakur have challenged the method in Supreme Courtroom and the matter will likely be heard tomorrow.

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