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Remove CEC

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 18: A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Government to remove Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon and Election Commissioner N Gopalswami for allegedly holding an office of profit before their appointment.

Filing the petition in the case filed earlier by Ravi Mohan, challenging the appointment of Mr Tandon for allegedly making ''casteist remarks'', Advocate Ravi Prakash Gupta, counsel for the petitioner, said the Union government should not appoint the persons, as Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) or Election Commissioner(EC), who were holding office of profit under the state.

He said both Mr Tandon and Mr Gopalswami were retired bureaucrats and thus should not have been considered for the posts.

Making Union Cabinet Secretary, Secretary Law and Justice, Chief Election Commissioner as respondents, the petition said, ''In the interest of justice a person holding office of profit under state should be restrained from being appointed as CEC or EC.''

On May 11, 2005 Mohan had filed a petition seeking direction to the Union Government to quash the appointment of Mr Tandon as Chief Election Commissioner in the light of the allegations by former CAPART Director General L V Saptharishi that Mr Tandon made casteist remarks during the elections to the Chhapra constituency in Bihar.

Mohan is a resident of Mahipalpur in South Delhi.

Incidentally, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad was the RJD candidate from the constituency and Mr Saptharshi was the election observer, during the elections held in May 2004.

Quoting the letter, the petition alleged that the Election Commissioners had reportedly said, ''They would like to teach a lesson to Lalu Prasad and all Yadavs.'' Making a specific mention of the then SP of Chhapra district, who is a Yadav, Mr Tandon had allegedly said, ''It is immaterial that he is a Yadav from Bihar or UP, no Yadav can be trusted.''

UNI

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