“What’s the tearing urgency?” Supreme Court on Election Commissioner appointment

The Supreme Court Thursday questioned what the “tearing urgency” was for the “super fast” appointment of ex-IAS officer Arun Goel as Election Commissioner.

This came a day after the apex court, while inquiring about the “mechanism” through which Goel was appointed as the Election Commissioner last week, said that the Union government should not fear producing the file “if they were right, as they claimed and that there was no hanky panky.”

The top court said on Thursday that the file was cleared within 24 hours, asking the Union as to whether there was any “tearing urgency” to do so.

The court pointed out: “Minister of Law picks the names from the list of four names shortlisted… The file was put up on November 18; moves the same day. Even PM recommends the name on the same day. We don’t want any confrontation, but was this done in any haste? What’s the tearing urgency?”

The Supreme Court of India went on to say: “This vacancy [became] available on May 15. Show us from May to November, what prevailed upon the government to do things super fast?” It noted that the process “started and completed on the same day”. “Not even in 24 hours, the process was completed and notified. What kind of evaluation [was done] here… Although, we are not questioning the merits of Arun Goel’s credentials but the process.”

The Union government through, Attorney General R Venkataramani, asked the court to “hold its mouth” and requested it to look into the matter in its entirety.

“What kind of evaluation is this? Although, we are not questioning the merits of Arun Goel’s credentials but the process,” the bench answered.

“We are being blunt. If all these four names are carefully chosen, as yes men — we are concerned with the process of selection,” asking about how four names were shortlisted from the officer database of the Department of Personnel.