Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mr Navin Chawla controversy - How to appoint politically neutral Election commissioners?

Election Commission of IndiaPodUniversal Edition 60

Mr Navin Chawla, one of the Indian Election Commissioners is under controversy. Even while he was appointed, more than 200 MPs from the opposition submitted a memorandum to the President of India alleging his close links with ruling party. When the matter was challenged in the Supreme Court, Hon'ble Court declared that it was upto the Chief Election Commissioner to recommend the removal.

Few months back, Mr Gopalswami, the present Chief Election Commissioner of India recommended the removal of Mr Navin Chawala to the President of India, on the grounds of political bias. However, President of India rejected his recommendation and appointed Mr Navin Chawla as the next Chief Election Commissioner to take charge from Mr Gopalswami to be effective from 21st April 2009.

This has generated a debate in India amongst the media and people. All along, all such appointments to the high positions were not disputed by political parties. This is the first time, a controversy has arisen for this high constitutional appointment.

For more than two decades, various suggestions have been given for electoral reforms. All the Governments, have not taken serious measures. Now, after this incident, the Institutions like Election Commission should not be viewed with suspicion by 710 million voters. Even while justice is rendered, it should also appear to have been rendered.

In future, even if Mr Navin Chawla takes a genuine decision, it would appear to be biased to the opposition.

To avoid such controversies in future, we sought the views of eminent people like Mr Era. Chezhian (A senior Parliamentarian), Mr N Vittal (Former Central Vigilance Commissioner of India) and Mr T S Krishnamoorthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India).

Please listen to the podcast by clicking play button (11 m 35 s). The streaming will be smooth in broadbands. If the streaming is not smooth, you may download the audio in mp3 and play in your mp3 player.


The podcast may also be listened at
http://www.podbazaar.com/permalink/144115188075857365

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