The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday withdrew their petition seeking the removal of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla.
The move comes in the wake of Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalawami's contention that he has the power to initiate action against an election commissioner on the basis of a petition to him.
The Supreme Court allowed the two parties to withdraw the petition. The court made it clear to the Centre that at this stage it was not adjudicating on whether the CEC has the power to act on his own.
The CEC filed an affidavit on Monday, stating that the powers vested with the CEC under the Constitution for removal of an election commissioner can be exercised if he either receives some information as CEC or on the basis of any formal representation or the petition filed before him.
Gopalawami also justified former CEC B B Tandon, who could not act on the petition filed by the MPs of National Democratic Alliance, since it was addressed to the President.
However, the CEC's statement was strongly opposed by the Centre.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam told a bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice V S Sirpurkar "the Union of India contests the stand taken by the CEC in his affidavit and reiterates that it is the executive government alone which is empowered to initiate proceedings against the election commissioner."