Supreme Court questioning Centre over Election Commissioner Arun Goel’s appointment restores our faith in judiciary: NCP

Posted by

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court questioning the Centre over the ‘lightning speed’ of Election Commissioner Arun Goel’s appointment.

Many questions arose as to why this important appointment was made in such a hurry, NCP national spokesperson Clyde Crasto said in a press statement issued in Mumbai.

“Supreme Court asking for files and showing unhappiness over the appointment during the hearing of petitions restores our faith in our judiciary,” he said.

Crasto stated that the apex court’s observation that it would have been appropriate if the appointment was not made when the bench was hearing petitions seeking an independent mechanism to appoint Election Commissioners and recommendations to reform the process of appointment of Election Commission members was very pertinent.

Once the Centre answers the question posed by the Supreme Court, it will bring to light why Arun Goel, a sitting secretary in the government, and not a retired officer (which is the norm), was given voluntary retirement and immediately made the Election Commissioner, Crasto said.

“Doubts have been raised lately on the functioning of the Election Commission and the appointments made in this manner will surely cast further aspersions on the same,” he said.

“The Election Commission is an independent body and if doubts are raised about its functionality due to external influence, then it is time that the body is made to work with transparency and the Supreme Court’s intervention will surely make it happen,” added Crasto.

Earlier in the day, a five-judge Constitution Bench, led by Justice K M Joseph and comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar, while hearing petitions seeking reforms in the appointment of Election Commissioners, said the file was cleared within 24 hours, asking the Centre as to whether there was any “tearing urgency” to do so. “The vacancy of the Election Commission arose on May 15 and Election Commissioner Arun Goel’s file was cleared with lightning speed,” the bench said.

This came a day after the apex court, while inquiring about the “mechanism” through which the former IAS officer was appointed as the Election Commissioner last week, said that the Centre should not fear producing the file “if they were right, as they claimed and that there was no hanky panky”.