The Supreme Court has said the Central and the state governments should not appoint persons holding government office as election commissioners.
A bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman said entrusting additional charge of state election commissioner to a government official is a mockery of the Constitution. The bench emphasized that a compromise on the independence of the Election Commission (EC) is not acceptable, and only independent persons should be election commissioners.
The top court observed that it was not correct that a government servant, while being in employment with the government, was given charge of the Election Commission in Goa.
“The independence of the Election Commission cannot be compromised in a democracy”, said the top court.
The Goa government had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order, which cancelled elections to five municipalities in the state for not reserving the wards for women as per the law.
The Goa government had appointed its law secretary as the state election commissioner for conducting the Municipal Council elections in the state. The top court decision is aimed at safeguarding independence of the Election Commission.