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SC notice to Centre, EC over Chawla's removal
September 18, 2006 17:28 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and Election Commission on a petition filed by a Samajwadi Party member of Parliament seeking removal of controversial Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on the ground that he would not able to discharge his duty impartially in view of several allegations of improprieties levelled against him.
The public interest litigation filed by Chandra Bushan Singh has also sought interpretation of the term "office of profit" for disqualifying a person as a MP.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justice AR Lakshmanan and Justice C K Thakker tagged the petition with that of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh in which he has also questioned the appointment of Chawla as EC.
Jaswant Singh had filed the PIL after the President had referred a petition by over 200 National Democratic Alliance MPs seeking Chawla's removal to the government.
The MPs had sought his removal alleging misconduct on Chawla's part, his proximity to Congress and the donations received by a trust in which his family members were also part.
The SP leader has sought laying down criteria for the appointment of persons as ECs as these constitutional functionaries are vested with giving "binding opinions" to the President under Article 103 of the Constitution.
Maintaining that several petitions have been referred to the President for taking action under Article 103, the PIL has sought a direction that the EC should not proceed on any of the individual cases relating to the disqualification of any MP on the ground that they are holding an office of profit.