New Delhi (28.11.2022): The appointment of Manoj Kumar Sahoo (IAS:2006:UT) as Deputy Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India (ECI) on November 26, 2022, for an overall tenure of seven years, at Centre, ending December 2023 drew the attention of all and sundry in view of recent comments made by Supreme Court on the appointment of EC and CEC. Sahoo, currently, Joint Secretary in the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, is all set to join ECI for a period ending 16 December 2023.
The appointment of Sahoo as Deputy EC for such a short term of slightly over 365 days is something that evokes curiosity, especially in the backdrop of observations made by the five-member Constitution Bench headed by Justice K M Joseph.
While hearing the case of appointment of Arun Goel as Election Commissioner in ECI, the bench had said that “none of the four names in the panel were ‘carefully hand-picked’ by the Law Minister so that they could complete a six-year tenure.”
A section of senior advocates says that the appointment of Sahoo assumes significance in the backdrop of SC’s remark over the tenure of key officials in ECI. This section of legal experts presumes that it might be an establishment's response to the recent observation.