Talking about the powers of the Election Commission, the Supreme Court reminded TN Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner of the country. During the arguments on a matter on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said that there have been many Chief Election Commissioners in the country, but TN Seshan is only occasionally. We do not want anyone to suppress him.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Constitution has vested enormous powers on the “delicate shoulders” of the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners and wanted a person of strong character like the late TN Seshan to become the country’s Chief Election Commissioner.
Tell that T.N. Seshan was a 1955 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre. T.N. Seshan served as the 18th Cabinet Secretary of India from 27 March 1989 to 23 December 1989. He became the Chief Minister of India from 12 December 1990 to 11 December 1996 and remained in this position till 11 December 1996.
TN Seshan’s bullying towards constitutional obligations as Chief Election Commissioner gave a new identity to the Election Commission. Meanwhile, assembly elections were held in Bihar. His strictness as CEC became an example. Seshan started election reforms from Bihar. Then Bihar was infamous for booth capturing. Seshan got central forces deployed in the elections and managed to prevent booth capturing and violence.
Mention of TN Seshan’s work in Supreme Court
On Tuesday, a hearing was held in the Supreme Court on the autonomy of the Election Commission in a bench of 5 judges. During the hearing presided over by Justice KM Joseph, he said that the court is trying to create a system that ‘best man; To be elected as the Chief Election Commissioner.
Heavy powers on the delicate shoulders of the Election Commission
A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Rai and CT Ravikumar said that ‘there have been many CECs in the country and TN Seshan happens only occasionally. We do not want anyone to try to suppress it. The constitution has given huge powers on the delicate shoulders of these three people (2 election commissioners, 1 chief election commissioner). We have to find the best person for the position of CEC. The question is how do we choose and appoint that best person.
The court told Attorney General R Venkataramani, appearing for the Centre, that the important thing is that we adopt a good process so that apart from a competent person, only a person of strong character can be appointed as CEC.
no objection to the appointment of the best person
Venkataramani said there is no objection to appointing the best person, but the question is how it can be done.
The Supreme Court bench said that since 1990, voices are being raised on the appointment of the main election. Once senior BJP leader LK Advani had written a letter advocating a collegium-like system for the appointment of election commissioners.
Let us tell you that on October 23, 2018, the apex court had sent a public interest litigation seeking a collegium-like system for the selection of the CEC and EC to a five-judge constitution bench for an official decision.
Opposition to collegium system for appointment of CEC
On 17 November, the Center strongly opposed petitions seeking a collegium-like system for selection of the CEC and EC, saying any such attempt amounted to an amendment to the Constitution.
Let us inform that since 2004, no Chief Election Commissioner has been able to complete his 6-year term. The court underlined this point in its remarks. The court said, “Since 2004, no CEC has completed a six-year term and there were six CECs during the 10-year rule of the UPA government and eight CECs in the eight years of the NDA government.”
On the appointment of CEC, the court said that it cannot say that it is helpless and cannot do anything and there should be a system which is different from the present structure of appointment of EC and CEC.