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Newslaundry misleads about appointment of Election Commissioner, ropes in SY Quraishi who wanted PM Modi to be infected with Coronavirus

As per the Convention, the Central government recommends the name to the President, who then appoints the CEC and other Election Commissioners.

Ahead of the 6th phase of Lok Sabha elections in the country, Newslaundry sought to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday (24th May).

In a misleading video published on its YouTube channel, the co-founder of the leftist propaganda portal Abhinandan Sekri claimed that the Modi government removed the Chief Justice of India from a three-member panel meant to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners. 

“Months before the election, the government introduced a bill that removed the Chief Justice of India from the panel that decides India’s Election Commission. So now there are two people who represent the government and one the opposition. So they’re always going to win,” he alleged.

The propaganda artist insinuated that the Election Commission of India is now working under the influence of the Modi government as the selection panel comprises two members of the government and only one member of the Opposition.

Abhinandan Sekhri also lamented the removal of the Chief Justice of India from the selection panel, suggesting it as an unprecedented move to his gullible audience.

In India’s independent history, a three-member selection panel has never appointed the Election Commissioners. As per the Convention, the Central government recommends the name to the President, who then appoints the CEC and other Election Commissioners.

Judicial activism and course correction

In March 2023, the Supreme Court of India resorted to judicial activism and tried to snatch the power of the Central government to appoint members of the Election Commission.

In an unprecedented move, the apex court ruled that a 3-member selection panel, comprising of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition would jointly appoint the Election Commissioner until a law on the same is framed by the Parliament.

The dangerous precedent laid by the Supreme Court was corrected when the Modi government introduced The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Terms of Office) Bill, 2023 in the Rajya Sabha.

Both the Houses of Parliament eventually passed the bill and it became a law. The government thus removed the CJI from the selection panel and replaced him with a member of the Cabinet.

The government made it stand clear before the Supreme Court in March 2024. It said, “The case of the petitioners is premised on one fundamental fallacy that the independence can only be maintained in any authority when the selection committee is of a particular formulation…The high constitutional functionaries ought to be presumed to act fairly and in good faith”…“To indicate, as the petitioners suggest, that selection committees without judicial members would invariably be biased is wholly incorrect”.

The government further added, “Where the Constitution itself specifically vests Parliament with the power to decide upon the appointments of the Election Commissioner, and Parliament exercises this power, no question of Executive overruling (can arise)…The (SC) judgment… had been conscious of the fact that the ultimate decision-making power in this regard lay with Parliament and so it had consciously evolved a time-limited mechanism for appointments to the EC. This mechanism was to last only till the time that Parliament made a law on the subject.”

After hearing the arguments made by the government, the Supreme Court refused to put a stay on the implementation of the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Act, 2023

Contrary to the past appointments of Election Commissioners, the selection panel for the first time had the Leader of the Opposition.

True to his vicious ideology, the co-founder of Newslaundry withheld this crucial piece of information to denounce the Election Commission of India and its fairness.

Newslaundry ropes in former Election Commissioner

This did not stop Abhinandan Sekhri from fearmongering about the state of Indian democracy and free elections. He continued, “Should this scare us? Is India’s dance of democracy not on a level playing field?”

“Are critics right when they accuse the election commission of being an extension of the party in power?” he further added.

The propaganda artist also roped in Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi, the former Chief Election Commissioner appointed by the Congress-led-UPA government in July 2010.

While speaking to Newslaundry, Quraishi brazened out, “People have started losing faith (in the Election Commission).” As expected, Abhinandan Sekhri nodded in affirmation.

It must be mentioned that during the pandemic, Quraishi had indirectly wished that Prime Minister Narendra Modi tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus infection. He had retweeted a tweet posted by an Islamist handle, wishing death to PM Modi.

A Twitter post retweeted by SY Quraishi wishing PM Modi tested positive for Coronavirus.

In March 2022, the former Election Commissioner courted controversy after he said that the Judiciary should not decide about hijab in schools. He claimed that it was the responsibility of the Maulana (Islamic scholar) to decide religious affairs in educational institutions.

“Will it be right if Maulana starts giving IPC decisions?” he claimed to rationalise his argument.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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