Ashok Lavasa. Source: YouTube

By The Wire Staff

New Delhi: Ashok Lavasa, the only other election commissioner apart from Arun Goel who resigned from the Election Commission despite being on course to be chief election commissioner, has spoken on the methods being adopted by the Modi government for appointments of the two empty spots in the EC, despite clear instructions from the Supreme Court on establishing a process that avoids the charge of partisan, executive-led appointments. He has termed “the exclusion of the chief justice of India” as “hard to fathom”.

He writes in The Indian Express, “Just over a year later, and three months after Parliament passed a law excluding the CJI from the committee, there are two vacancies in the ECI and the time to test the law and its spirit is here.” Lavasa writes that excluding the CJI, whom he notes, has never really disagreed with the PM in other such selections, creates a “predetermined bias in the committee’s view.” His exclusion, he writes, “may seem like an attempt to ensure a majority rather than relying on consensus building.”

Lavasa has been explicit about failing to follow why the government initially equated the EC and the CEC with the Cabinet Secretary, but later displayed “muddled thinking” having  apparently “struck a bargain” by restoring the equivalence of EC/CEC with a Supreme Court judge but then mysteriously reversing the parity in the removal process of the EC and CEC, to the original one, where only the CEC is insulated from routine removal process, not other members of the EC.

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