'Tearing Urgency, Lightning Speed', SC Questions Centre on Appointment of of Election Commissioner
IANS 24 November 2022
The Supreme Court on Thursday grilled the attorney general R Venkataramani, representing the Centre, on the appointment of Arun Goel as the election commissioner, saying what was the 'tearing urgency, haste', and why was the appointment made at a 'lightning speed'.
 
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by justice KM Joseph after examining the file on Mr Goel's appointment, also questioned on the criteria adopted by the law minister in shortlisting four names from the department of personnel & training (DoPT) database.
 
The bench shot a volley of questions at the AG to which he contended that court should not hold a mini-trial on the appointment; however, the bench asked him to explain why the appointment was made with such haste.
 
"Same day process, same day clearance, same day appointment, lightening speed, what kind of evaluation?" the bench asked.
 
Justice Joseph specifically questioned the AG on the criteria adopted by the law minister in picking four names from the DoPT's database.
 
The bench noted that the minister picked the names and the file was put up on 18th November and moved the same day.
 
The bench told the AG: "Even the Prime Minister recommends the name on the same day. We don't want any confrontation..."
 
It further pointed out that the post was vacant since 15th May and asked the AG to show what prevailed the government to do things at this lightning speed.
 
Justice Joseph reiterated that the Court is concerned about a 'yes man' being appointed and asked what is the basis of the law minister shortlisting four names from data of hundreds of people following the age criteria.
 
Questioning Mr Goel's appointment in a super-fast manner, the bench remarked that not even 24 hours and the process was completed and notified.
 
The top court is hearing a batch of pleas seeking a collegium-like system for the appointment of the ECs and chief election commissioner (CEC).
 
The hearing is in progress now.
 
The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Centre that it wants to see the files relating to Mr Goel's recent appointment and emphasised that it wants to see by what mechanism, 'he was picked up', and 'there is no danger to produce it (files)'.
Comments
Meenal Mamdani
2 weeks ago
I pray for this Supreme Court as it is doing things that Modi/Shah do not want.
I am afraid that just as Judge Loya died mysteriously, something may happen to these brave judges with impeccable integrity.
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