The Supreme Court declared that it is “struggling” to understand why and how the Law Minister chose a panel of four candidates who would not serve out the required six-year term. The top court scrutinised Goel’s appointment as an EC on Wednesday, requesting from the Center the original records pertaining to his appointment for review in order to determine whether there had been any “hanky panky.”
The Attorney General, R. Venkataramani, fiercely disagreed with the views and demanded that the entire Goel appointment matter be thoroughly investigated. Beginning with Goel’s nomination as EC, a five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice K M Joseph read through the original file kept by the Centre and stated, “What sort of assessment is this? Although we are criticising the procedure rather than Arun Goel’s qualifications.”
The top court ordered the parties to submit written arguments within five days after deferring judgment on a group of petitions that sought to appoint ECs and the Chief Election Commissioner using a collegium-like structure.
Goel is supposed to be in line to succeed Rajiv Kumar as CEC when he steps down in February 2025. He will serve as the Election Commissioner for more than five years in total.