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Evolve scheme for appointments to EC: Tandon

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 29: Outgoing Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon today reiterated that a mechanism be evolved for appointment of Election Commissioners including the CEC on the lines of appointments being made to the National Human Rights Commission and the Central Vigilance Commission.

Mr Tandon had written to President A P J Abdul Kalam on this issue in his personal capacity some weeks ago. He said Article 324 of the constitution provides for appointment of the CEC and election commissioners. Under the present scheme of things, they are being appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.

A procedure could be laid down for such appointments by a committee including the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chairman, said Mr Tandon who retired after 42 years of service, including five in the EC.

He said the election machinery should be quite independent, free from any influence by any agency, executive or anybody else.

Over the years the EC has not only generated confidence and faith among voters and the full spectrum of political parties in its total impartiality, credibility and independence but also created a niche for itself in the domestic and international arena, said the CEC.

On electoral reforms, Mr Tandon said a total of 22 comprehensive proposals are in place but no consensus has emerged among political parties. There should be total transparency in inflow of funds to political parties and ceiling on spending during elections, he said. ''Still, there has been a paradigm shift in the way elections are conducted -- from macro-management to micro-management mode.'' Recent elections in Bihar and Asom witnessed large-scale voting with no violence, repoll or rigging, said Mr Tandon. Accountability and use of modern technology were positive points in these elections.

Mr Tandon denied slowing down the process in office-of-profit cases. He said the EC's decision on Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was based on several judgements by the Supreme Court.

The outgoing CEC said India remains a large, vibrant and stable democracy. He described his tenure as full of challenges but satisfactory.

UNI

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