Sunday, February 7, 2010

[rti_india] Letter seeking Chawla’s sacking out


Letter seeking Chawla's sacking out


New Delhi: In an example of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, the law ministry has released the letter written by the then Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami to the President seeking removal of fellow election commissioner Navin Chawla, while the Rashtrapati Bhavan declined to make the document public.

The appellate authority under the RTI act in the law ministry allowed the request of one S S Ranawat, a resident of Bhilwara in Rajasthan, for unprecedented recommendation made by Gopalaswami in January last year. The Rashtrapati Bhavan cited C h aw l a 's opposition to the disclosure as a reason for not making it public.

In his 93-page report, Gopalaswami cited several instances of partisan behaviour on the part of Chawla who had shown lack of political neutrality. Acting on a petition filed by BJP leader L K Advani and 179 other members of Parliament who had levelled accusations of political partisanship, the then CEC contended that he had powers under the constitution to recommend Chawla's removal. But, the government rejected it and appointed Chawla.

In this regard, Gopalaswami cited Chawla's own notings on another occasion that the CEC had the power to make such a recommendation.

In the recommendation to the President, the then CEC said he had concluded that "significant facts" and "irresistible conclusions" from the report submitted by him were crucial in adjudging the suitability of Chawla as EC.

On many occasions, he said Quraishi confided he was under pressure, like, when he was in favour of polls being held in Karnataka on time and wanted the rolls to be prepared for the new constituencies using the 'cut and paste' method but he did not want his name to be taken, since he was pressured. AGENCIES



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