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The Supreme Court reserved judgment on various petitions regarding the appointment process of Election Commissioners

The Supreme Court reserved judgment on various petitions regarding the appointment process of Election Commissioners. SC to decide whether to set up an independent panel to appoint Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners in a fair and transparent manner.

Court Proceedings

AG: Yes. Have brought it. Brought copies. Went through it myself, there is nothing wrong. Can share it at the end of the hearing, we can get into it later. There is always room for debate.

Sr Adv Gopal S: Man was to retire Saturday

Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan: Please see para 14.

AG R Venkataramani: We are not on a mini trial here.

Justice Joseph: Ministry of Law and Justice picks up the names. We will come back to it. We have the material

Justice Joseph: This [Arun Goel appointment file] was moved on 18/11. Then the names are examined. Then the Prime Minister comes in … Is it (usually) done in such haste, with such tearing urgency?

AG denies this was the case.

Justice Rastogi: According to your first page, this vacancy was since May 15. Can you show us that from May to November, what was it that weighed on the government that everything must be done superfast in November. We know that where there is a will there is a way.

Justice Joseph: Even the notification was issued …

Justice Rastogi: The same day. What kind of evaluation was done within just 24 hours?

AG: I just want to clarify, the name was considered with due processes followed.

AG: These questions will come. How many appointments in public offices happen in 12 or 24 hours? Will we get into all such instances?

Justice Joseph: We just want to know the process (that was undertaken). If you toss a coin and both sides you win, and here we notice that man has credentials, but what if he is docile?

AG: There can be lens saying he is docile, one saying else. Which one will Court consider?

AG: There is not litmus test.

Justice Joseph: Tell us how he was chosen from 4 others.

Justice Joseph reads from file to show Goel was youngest among the names considered.

AG: I only wish to ask this to the Court with the best of my understanding …

Justice Bose: We find the voluntary retirement, etc very … Is it normal?

AG: He is a Punjab cadre person…

Justice Bose: Does it happen like this normally?

AG: He was anyways going to retire on December 31.

Justice Rastogi: Please answer us first, we are requesting you! Please, what is the foundation?

AG: Both serving and retired officers also present.

SC: Again we are telling you this is not adversarial. We are trying to find out, being mindful that there is a system in place. The Law Minister database …

AG: That anybody can look that. It is maintained by DoPT, of all civil servants.

Bhawna
Bhawna
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