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Navin Chawla case: Centre defends actions
July 24, 2006 16:49 IST
The Centre on Monday justified the decision to refer the National Democratic Alliance's representation for removal of election commissioner Navin P Chawla to the Council of Ministers, rejecting demands that it be considered straightaway by the President.
In an affadavit filed in the Supreme Court in response to a public interest litigation filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh seeking Chawla's removal, the government said the advice of the Council of Ministers was relevant in the removal of an election commisioner.
The government said since the appointment of an election commissioner and chief election commissioner was made by the President on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, it becomes relevant in their removal also.
The Centre asserted that the President was not obliged to obtain the recommendations of the CEC on any representation for removal of an election commissioner.
"It would be inconceivable that in a Parliamentary democracy allegations or petitions seeking removal of an election commissioner would straightaway be considered by the CEC without being processed by the executive government," the Centre said in its affadavit.
In his petition, Jaswant Singh had contended that the President should have referred the NDA representation for Chawla's removal to the Union Council of Ministers and that it should have been sent to the CEC for his recommendation as required under Article 324 (5).
The government also denied having consulted Attorney General Milon K Banerjee on the issue.
Earlier, in his affidavit, Chawla had also contended that he could not be removed without the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.