India

The Supreme Court has requested the Centre to provide the appointment files of new Election Commissioner Arun Goel if all is well

As reported by Live Law, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to submit documents related to the recent appointment of Retired Punjab cadre IAS officer Arun Goel as the new Election Commissioner on Wednesday.

During the petition hearing seeking an independent mechanism for the appointment of Election Commissioners, the five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice K M Joseph observed that it would have been appropriate had the work not been made while the matter was being considered.

On Thursday, the Court requested that the Attorney General bring the files relating to the appointment of Goel. According to Live Law, the Court stated, “Because this appointment was made after we began hearing this matter.”.

Goel was granted Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) last Thursday, and his appointment order was issued on November 21 by advocate Prashant Bhushan.

As a result of his voluntary retirement, Mr Arun Goel has been appointed as the latest member of the Board. Everyone who has been appointed as an Election Commissioner is a retired individual. However, he was a member of the government as a Secretary. This Court heard the arguments on Thursday. A voluntary retirement was granted to him on Friday. During the weekend or on Sunday, his appointment order was issued. He began working on Monday, according to Bhushan. His application for interim orders against appointment has been pending since May.

According to Justice Joseph, an employee must give three months’ notice before taking VRS. In response, Bhushan expressed doubts about whether Goel had given any information. In this regard, the Court should request records, according to him.

Meanwhile, Attorney General R Venkataramani disagreed with Bhushan’s assertions and stated that Goel’s appointment had no purpose.

He asked, “What is the mechanism by which this officer was picked up, Mr Attorney General?” Was it possible for the officer to be picked up while the Court considered the matter? This Court made the appointment while it was considering the matter. “When there is a challenge to the appointment when the Constitution Bench hears the matter, it would be more appropriate to say…”

The Honourable Justice Joseph stated, “…If everything is hunky-dory, everything is going according to plan, you have no reason to fear”. The Court only requested the production of files unless “you have any legitimate objection.”, he informed AG Venkataramni.

Goel assumed his duties as Election Commissioner (EC) on Monday, two days after being appointed by President Droupadi Murmu.

Until being appointed as EC on November 18, Goel served as secretary of the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries.

As heavy industries secretary, Goel “catalyzed the Indian e-vehicle movement to a tipping point”, according to a statement by the Election Commission of India (ECI). His previous experience includes serving as secretary in the Union Ministry of Culture, vice chairman of the Delhi Development Authority, and in various capacities in the Union ministries of finance, urban development, and labour and employment.

© The Deccan Era (P) Ltd

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