The Supreme Court on Friday asked a PIL petitioner, seeking that the procedure of impeachment for removal of Chief Election Commissioner be extended to the two other Commissioners for making the poll panel an autonomous body, to serve a copy of the petition to the Commission.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to serve the copy of the petition on the Election Commission as advocate Gopal Shankarnarayan said that though CEC can be removed through impeachment, the other two Commissioners can be removed on the CEC's recommendation.
Seeking more autonomy for the Election Commission, Upadhyay has also sought direction to the Centre to provide an independent secretariat to the poll paneland declare its expenditure as charged on the consolidated fund of India on the lines of the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariat.
Upadhyay, who is a BJP leader, has sought direction to confer on the Election Commission the rule making authority on the lines of the rule making authority vested in the Supreme Court to empower it to make election-related rules and code of conduct.
The court directed the next hearing of the matter on December 1.
In another petition by Manubhai Chavada of Gujarat-based Jan Chatena Manch seeking counting of votes recorded on VVPAT along with that of the EVMs, the bench also asked him to serve the copy of the petition on the Election Commission.
Seeking that the votes cast on the EVMs should be tallied with those recorded on the VVPAT paper trail, the petitioner has said that it should be mandatory and not just left to the discretion of the returning officer at the time of the counting.
The court directed the next hearing of the matter on November 20.
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