New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday raised question on the process adopted by the Centre in the appointment of Arun Goel as the Election Commissioner (EC) and said that his file got clearances in “haste” and with “tearing hurry”, reported news agency PTI.
As the apex court observed that the file pertaining to Goel’s appointment was cleared with “lightning speed”, the Centre through Attorney General R Venkataramani asked the court to “hold its mouth” and requested it to look into the matter in its entirety, the report added.
A five judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph said, “What kind of evaluation is this? Although we are not questioning the merits of Arun Goel’s credentials but the process.”
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The top-most law officer told the bench, which was making a volley of comments on the issue, “Please hold your mouth for a while. I request to look into the issue in entirety”, the report stated.
It perused the original file of Goel’s appointment as an EC, which was placed before the bench by the Centre in pursuance of Wednesday’s direction given by the top court.
Questioning the process, the bench highlighted that the 1985-batch IAS officer Goel got voluntary retirement from the service in single day, his file was cleared by the Law Ministry in a single day, a panel of four names were put up before the Prime Minister and Goel’s name was cleared from the President within 24 hours.
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The bench is hearing a batch of pleas seeking a collegium-like system for the appointment of Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner.
On Wednesday, the apex court had asked the Centre to produce before it the file related to the appointment of Arun Goel as the Election Commissioner, who was appointed on November 19.
As per the report, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Justice K M Joseph, said that the court wants to know if there was any “hanky panky” in Goel’s appointment as the election commissioner, as he was recently given voluntary retirement from service.