NEW DELHI – With the Supreme Court on Thuesday prescribing a procedure for appointment of Election Commissioners, the Congress demanded that this should also be followed in appointment of Enforcement Directorate chief.
Addressing a press conference, party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “It is now important that other important posts, such as those of the ED (Enforcement Directorate) where the influence of the executive is overwhelming must also be checked. Currently, posts such as those of the CBI chief, the CVC, the NHRC Chairman and the Lokpal are appointed by way of a three-member Committee consisting of the PM, CJI and the LoP.”
Currently, the ED Director is appointed (under Section 25 of the CVC Act, 2003) by way of a Committee which consists overwhelmingly of representatives of the executive. That selection committee is headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and has as its members the Vigilance Commissioners, the Home Secretary, the Personnel Secretary, and the Revenue Secretary, he noted.
“This is why we see brazen and illegal extensions, in violation and direct contempt of the Supreme Court’s express orders, being allowed by the Committee,” he said.
On the apex court decision, the Congress said that it has significance as it reaffirms and reiterates the importance of divesting the control of the executive over a body that is crucial to the conduct of free and fair elections. “It comes at a crucial time. The ruling regime has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to the violation of electoral safeguards with no consequences for their actions,” he claimed.
“It is the only regime where the Supreme Court had to intervene to get them to hear the documented complaints against the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, and where a sitting Election Commissioner was compelled to give a dissent note on how he differed from the blank exonerations given to the PM and HM in those cases. He and his family faced severe consequences for this dissent,” Singhvi said. -IANS