Times of India
New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Union government's response to a PIL requesting the court to frame guidelines for a mechanism to select election commissioners to honour the constitutional mandate to make the EC independent in letter and spirit. 

Appearing for NGO "Association for Democratic Reforms", advocate Prashant Bhushan told a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and BV Nagarathna that at present, the election commissioners are appointed solely by the Centre and of late, there has been strong criticism of EC's impartiality in the conducting of assembly polls in various states. At present the Union government appoints the ECs. 

He said similar to the manner in which the court has ensured independence of tribunals by creating search-cum-selection committees headed by a sitting SC judge, the independence of EC could be ensured by creating a collegium as suggested by the Law Commission of India in its 255th report and other recommendations from Administrative Reforms Commission in January 2007, Dinesh Goswami Committee report of May 1990 and Justice Tarkunde Committee report of 1975. 

He said collegiums, independent of the executive, have been put in place for selection of CBI director, CVC, NHRC chairman and members, Lokpal, Central Information Commission chairperson and members and chairperson of Press Council of India

The bench said, "Tribunals are different in character and composition from EC." Bhushan said the attempt is to ensure independence of one of the most important constitutional bodies in a democracy. The SC tagged the petition with a pending one. 

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