The Association for Democratic Reforms on Monday filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking formation of a “neutral and independent collegium or selection committee” for the appointment of members of the Election Commission, Bar and Bench reported.

The practice of the central government appointing the members of the Election Commission violates Articles 14 and 324(2) of the Constitution, the non-government organisation said in its plea.

Article 14 of the Constitution deals with Right to Equality, whereas Article 324(2) gives the President the power to appoint members of the poll body.

The Association for Democratic Reforms, in its petition, submitted that the appointment of members of the Election Commission is done “on the whims and fancies of the executive” and “violates the very foundation on which it was created, thus, making the Commission a branch of the executive”.

The plea, filed through Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, added that the poll body, besides being responsible for conducting free and fair elections, also performs a “quasi judicial function between the various political parties”, including the ruling party.

“It [the appointments] gives unfettered discretion to the ruling party to choose someone whose loyalty to it is ensured and thereby renders the selection process vulnerable to manipulation,” the plea mentioned, according to Bar and Bench.

Among other references, the petition cited the 255th Law Commission Report which recommended that the appointment of Election Commission members should be made by the President in consultation with a three-member collegium or selection committee, consisting of the prime minister, the leader of Opposition of the Lok Sabha and the chief justice of India, Live Law reported.