Updated March 14th, 2024 at 14:44 IST

Bureaucrats Gyanesh Kumar, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu Appointed Election Commissioners

Bureaucrats Sukhbir Sandhu, Gyanesh Kumar have been appointed election commissioners by PM Modi-led panel, said Congress' Adhir Chowdhury.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Bureaucrats Sukhbir Sandhu from Punjab and Gyanesh Kumar from Kerala will be new Election Commissioners | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led high-level committee on Thursday picked bureaucrats Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as the Election Commissioners. “Gyanesh Kumar from Kerala and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu from Punjab selected as election commissioners”, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters.  

Registering his dissent and questioning the selection process, Chowdhury, further said, "They (govt) have the majority (in the committee who appoints election commissioner). Earlier, they had given me 212 names, but 10 minutes before the appointment they again gave me just six names. I know that the CJI isn't there, govt has made such a law that the CJI doesn't interfere and the Central govt can choose a favourable name. I am not saying that it's arbitrary but the procedure that is being followed has some lacunae."   

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All You Need to Know About Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Gyanesh Kumar

  • Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, a retired 1998-batch IAS officer, served as the chief secretary of Uttarakhand. He was elevated to the top bureaucrat post when Pushkar Singh Dhami was elected as the Chief Minister in 2021.
  • Earlier in his bureaucracy journey, Sandhu served as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman and as additional secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
  • Sandhu. who completed his MBBS from Government Medical College, Amritsar, also holds a Master's Degree in History from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. He also has a law degree.
  • Gyanesh Kumar, a retired 1988-batch Kerala-cadre IAS officer, served as secretary in the ministry of cooperation led by Amit Shah.
  • Previously, he served as the secretary at the ministry of parliamentary affairs. Kumar retired from the services after his superannuation on January 31, 2024.

Following the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey in February and Goel’s resignation, the three-member EC has now only one member: CEC Rajiv Kumar. According to the new law on the appointment of CEC and ECs, a search committee headed by the law minister and comprising two union secretaries will shortlist five names.

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Then a selection committee — headed by the prime minister and comprising a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the PM, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha or the leader of the single-largest opposition party in the House — picks one name.

The CEC or EC then gets appointed by the President.

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Ashok Lavasa had resigned as election commissioner in August 2020. He had given dissent notes on various model code violation decisions taken by the EC in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Originally, the commission had only a CEC. It currently consists of the CEC and two election commissioners.

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Two additional commissioners were first appointed on October 16, 1989, but they had a very short tenure till January 1, 1990. Later, on October 1, 1993, two additional election commissioners were appointed. The concept of a multi-member EC has been in operation since then, with decisions made by a majority vote.

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Published March 14th, 2024 at 13:54 IST