EC must be independent, govt official taking charge is mockery of democracy: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday observed said that the independence of the Election Commission cannot be compromised in a democracy and added that giving the additional charges of a State Election Commission to a government official is a mockery.

The Supreme Court on Friday observed said that the independence of the Election Commission cannot be compromised in a democracy and added that giving the additional charges of a State Election Commission to a government official is a mockery.

The court said that entrusting additional charges of the State Election Commissioner to a government official in power is a mockery of the Constitution.

A Supreme Court bench led by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman held that State Election Commissioners have to be independent persons and that none of the states can appoint a person who holds any other office with the government.

Justice Nariman also said that it’s a disturbing trait that a government servant, while being in employment with the government, was given charge of the Election Commission in Goa. An officer of the government attempted to overrule the high court decision with regard to holding panchayat polls.

The Goa bench of the High Court had on March 1 set aside a notification issued by the Urban Development ministry, stalling polls in municipal councils of Margao, Mormugao, Mapusa, Sanguem and Quepem.

The elections to 11 civic bodies in Goa are scheduled to be held on March 20 and at least 2.5 lakh people are eligible to vote in these polls.

However, last week, the Supreme Court ordered to stay the verdict of the High Court’s Goa bench, which had set aside the notification of the state Urban Development ministry on reservation of wards in five municipal councils.

Source: India Today

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