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The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant urgent hearing to a plea seeking a direction for the appointment of Election Commissioners (ECs) in the Election Commission of India by a collegium comprising Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and others.

The plea  was filed by Advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

In Oct 2018, a bench comprising the then-CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul had referred a similar matter to the Constitution bench which sought appointments of ECs through collegium. The bench had observed that the Article 324(2) that deals with appointments to the election watchdog needed to be interpreted and hence it set up Constitution bench. That PIL, filed by Anoop Baranwal, had contented that the current procedure of government appointing election commissioners was “discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the constitution.”

Article 324(2) stipulates that “The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President”.

—India Legal Bureau

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