Delhi HC to hear plea on appointment of Election Commissioner

New Delhi: A petition challenging the appointment order of Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev as Election Commissioner of Delhi from April 21, 2022, has been listed to hear in the High Court on December 15.

The bench presided over by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh adjourned the petition filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Dr. Nand Kishore Garg for next Wednesday.

The plea filed through Adv. Shashank Deo Sudhi sought directions from the Delhi government to withdraw the appointment order of Dev as election commissioner, stating it is in violation of the rule, and “will motivate vested interest” to affect the forthcoming scheduled election of the municipal corporation of Delhi.

It highlighted that the order is also in violation of Article 243K of the Constitution which enshrined the appointment of independent election commissioner as interpreted and laid down by the Supreme Court.

The plea further alleged that the appointment is politically motivated as the chief secretary has been privy to all administrative and policy decisions of the government of Delhi, and holding a position like election commissioner at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi may be exposed to the possibility of manipulation of the outcome of the election process.

The plea also ruled out a possibility of manipulation of the outcome of the election process.

Terming the order as premature, the petitioner sought a broad guideline for the appointment of the election commissioner for ensuring the impartiality and neutrality of the candidate who would be an independent person of high integrity.

Vijay Kr. Dev, a 1987 batch IAS officer is from the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territories) cadre assumed charge as chief secretary in the national capital in 2018, replacing Anshu Prakash.

The last municipal elections were held in Delhi in April 2017. The five-year term of the elected government in the three corporations — East, North, and South Delhi Municipal Corporations — is set to come to an end in April 2022 and polls will be held to elect 272 municipal councillors.