Supreme Court Questions ‘Lightning Speed’ In Appointment Of Arun Goel As Election Commissioner
"What was that prevailed upon the government to initiate the process in a manner that everything has to be done within the shortest possible time and super fast?" asked the bench. Read on for details:
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the Centre on the appointment of former IAS officer Arun Goel as the new Election Commissioner at a "lightning speed" saying the process was completed within 24 hours.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph perused the original files brought by the Centre on Goel's appointment as Election Commissioner.
"What was that prevailed upon the government to initiate the process in a manner that everything has to be done within the shortest possible time and super fast?" asked the bench also comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar.
"On November 18... We find the file (Arun Goel appointment file) moved same day. Then the Prime Minister says considering experiences, sustainability I recommend the name. It was done in a day," Justice Joseph asked Attorney General (AG) R Venkataramani who was appearing for Central government, about the tearing hurry.
The bench added, "Same day process, same day clearance, same day application, same day acceptance, and same day appointment. MR. Attorney General, the file has not travelled 24 hours as if the lightning speed is there. What kind of evaluation is there?"
The Central government said there is no disquieting feature in the appointment. The bench clarified that it was not questioning the merits of Arun Goel's credentials, but the process.
Yesterday, the bench asked the Centre to produce the file related to the appointment of Goel as the new Election Commissioner. Meanwhile, the apex court reserved its judgement on a batch of pleas seeking a collegium-like system for the appointment of Election Commissioners (ECs) and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
Goel took voluntary retirement from his previous posting on November 18 and was appointed Election Commissioner on November 19 and took charge on November 21. The top court questioned the Central government for appointing the 1985-batch IAS officer Goel in a single day. (Agencies)