The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Central government's response on a plea seeking to put in a place a mechanism for appointment of the Election Commissioners and extending the procedure of impeachment for removal of the Chief Election Commissioner to them also.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud sought the government's response after Attorney General K. K. Venugopal told the court that the government's stand may be different from his position on the issue.
In the last hearing of the matter on December 1, 2017, the court had sought the assistance of the Attorney General in addressing the issue and Venugopal, it is learnt, is favouring putting in place a procedure and guidelines for the removal of two Election Commissioner.
Saying that their removal could not be arbitrary, he is said to be of the view that the principle of natural justice has to be followed for removing the Election Commissioners.
Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand, appearing for the Central government, sought four weeks time to respond to the PIL by top court lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay
Besides seeking to put in place a mechanism for the selection of and impeachment procedure for removal of Election Commissioners, he has sought direction to the Centre to provide an independent secretariat to the poll panel and declare its expenditure as charged on the consolidated fund of India on the lines of the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariat.
Upadhyay has also sought direction to confer on the Election Commission the rule making authority on the lines of the authority vested in the Supreme Court to empower it to make election - related rules and code of conduct.