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Opposition Hails SC Order on EC, Says Historic Ruling to Pave Way for Free & Fair Elections

The top court’s bench said the Election Commission has to remain “aloof” from all forms of subjugation of the Executive.
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New Delhi: Opposition parties on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling on the appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners, saying the landmark judgment would pave the way for free and fair elections in the country.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the appointments of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners will be done by the President on the advice of a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

"Welcoming the historic Supreme Court verdict on Election Commission. Insulating EC from Government influence & dependence will secure the integrity of the electoral process. A truly Independent EC alone can fulfill the Constitutional mandate of conducting free and fair elections," Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Twitter.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the verdict is a victory of democracy.

"Supreme Court's landmark order is a democratic victory! We welcome the decision of the Constitution Bench on the appointment of Election Commissioners and Chief Election Commissioner. Will of the people prevails over the ill-fated attempts of the oppressive forces!" she said on Twitter.

The polit bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also said  that the “seminal verdict” by the Supreme Court was “a step forward in the direction of strengthening the independent authority and functioning of the Election Commission which alone is mandated to conduct a free and fair election under Article 324 of the Constitution.

The bench further stated that the Election Commission has to remain “aloof” from all forms of subjugation of the Executive.

“The CPI(M) had all along advocated that the appointment of the Election Commission should be on the lines of what the Parliament enacted regarding the appointment of the CBI director, the Lokpal etc., in a transparent and democratic manner,” the party said in a statement.

The Aam Aadmi Party also said the judgment would strengthen democracy.

"Now PM, LoP and CJI will decide who will sit in Election Commission. EC used to fix election dates by looking at PM's rallies, announcements of schemes which called into question the impartiality of the Election Commission. This decision will strengthen democracy," said AAP leader Sanjay Singh.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi hailed the Supreme Court and called the judgment a "landmark" order.

"Truly landmark order from Supreme Court on top appointments of EC. A panel comprising PM, Leader of Opp/opposition leader of largest political party in Lok Sabha & the CJI for the top appointments in Election Commission. Earlier it was the PM recommending names to the President," she said in a tweet.

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