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Gyanesh Kumar, Sukhbir Sandhu Appointed as New Election Commissioners

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led three-member committee has appointed Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as new Election Commissioners. This decision was conveyed to the media by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury after the committee’s meeting on March 14, 2024.

Filling Vacant Positions

The appointments come in the wake of the recent resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel, just days ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. With the retirement of Anup Pandey in February and Goel’s resignation, the three-member Election Commission panel was left with only the Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar.

New Selection Panel

These appointments are the first to be made by the reconstituted selection panel, which now includes the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and a designated Union Cabinet minister. The Chief Justice of India is no longer part of the panel, following the enactment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023.

Upcoming General Elections

The Election Commission, responsible for conducting free and fair elections, is expected to announce the dates for the upcoming general elections soon. The Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held in April-May 2024.

Legal Challenge

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea on March 15th, challenging the exclusion of the Chief Justice of India from the selection panel for the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has filed this plea, alleging that the Supreme Court’s previous ruling on the selection panel has been overruled without addressing the basis of the judgment.

With the new appointments and the upcoming legal challenge, the focus remains on ensuring the integrity and fairness of the electoral process in the world’s largest democracy.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams

  • Election Commissioner of India HQ: Delhi
  • Election Commissioner of India Established: 25th January 1950.

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