The central government introduced a new bill on the appointment of elections

The central government has recently introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha that aims to amend the process of appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners of the country.

The proposed bill includes significant changes in the composition of the selection committee responsible for these appointments.

Exclusion of the Chief Justice of India from the selection panel

One of the notable changes proposed by the Bill is the removal of the Chief Justice of India from the selection committee that determines the appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.

The change is seen as a departure from the previous arrangement and has triggered a discussion about the implications for the independence of the Election Commission.

New Composition of Selection Panel

As per the provisions mentioned in the new Bill, the selection panel responsible for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners will now have three members:

  1. Prime Minister: Head of government, responsible for making executive decisions.
  2. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha: A prominent person representing the opposition parties in the lower house of parliament.
  3. Cabinet Minister: A member of the government’s cabinet who is entrusted with specific administrative responsibilities.


The introduction of the bill follows a significant Supreme Court judgment in March, which aims to ensure the impartiality and autonomy of the Election Commission.

Prior to this decision, appointments to the Election Commission were made on the basis of recommendations of the government and were ultimately approved by the President.

In March 2023, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the CEC and EC would be appointed by the President of India on the advice of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

A law is made by the Parliament on their appointments. The decision emerged from a 2015 public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment process.

Criticism and Feedback

The proposed bill has drawn criticism from various quarters, with the Congress party being particularly vocal in its opposition.

The Congress has termed the Bill as a blatant attempt to curtail the autonomy of the Election Commission and turn it into an instrument controlled only by the Prime Minister.

Legislative Intent

The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Tenure of Office) Bill, 2023 was introduced by Law and Justice Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal in the Rajya Sabha.

He introduced this bill in the Rajya Sabha amid opposition from opposition members. It repeals the Conditions of Service and Conditions of Conduct of Business Act, 1991 of the Election Commissioners.

One of the key provisions in the bill states that the selection committee will regulate its process in a transparent manner.

The tenure of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioner will be for six years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

The salary of the Election Commissioners will be the same as that of the Cabinet Secretary.

The Bill states that the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

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