Sitaram Yechury. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday demanded that the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners should not be appointed by the central government, but by a special panel like in the case of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Yechury also welcomed the Supreme Court opinion that the CEC must be "apolitical" and beyond "influence".
Notably, the Supreme Court on Tuesday raised questions on the present system of the Centre appointing serving bureaucrats of its choice as CEC and EC.
The top court further said that a "fair and transparent mechanism" should be adopted to appoint the best apolitical person with strong character who can make independent decisions without being influenced.
"The Supreme Court has given its opinion and we believe that it is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The manner in which the governments appoint the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)and the Election Commissioner, our party, the CPI(M) has already been saying that appointment of CEC and EC cannot be the decision of the government alone," Yechury said while speaking to ANI.
"A panel has been made for the Director of CBI and in the same way, for the appointment of CEC and EC, a panel should be constituted. A system in which the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister, a Presiding Officer, the Lok Sabha Speaker or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and an independent person whether it is the retired Chief Election Commissioner, to make a body which will decide who will be the CEC and Election Commissioner," the CPI(M) General secretary said.
Yechury further said that the way the election commissioners are being appointed, there should be fairness in the election.
"If the constitution talks about free and fair elections, then it is necessary that government should set up a separate independent body. Independent body should decide who will be the Election Commissioner," he added.