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Who is Arun Goel, the election commissioner who resigned before Lok Sabha polls?


Election Commissioner Arun Goel has tendered his resignation just days ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2024.

Election Commissioner Arun Goel.(File)

Arun Goel’s resignation was accepted by President Droupadi Murmu, a gazette notification issued on Saturday read. The reason for Arun Goel’s resignation is not known yet.

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Arun Goel’s resignation comes amid the peak of Lok Sabha election preparation by the Election Commission.

With Arun Goel’s resignation, the Election Commission is now headed only by the Chief Election Commissioner (Rajiv Kumar) and no election commissioners.

“In pursuance of clause (1) of Section 11 of The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023, the President is pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Shri Arun Goel, Election Commissioner with effect from the 09th March, 2024,” the gazette notification issued on Saturday read.”

Who is Arun Goel?

  • Arun Goel took over the charge of the election commissioner on November 21, 2022.
  • A 1985 batch IAS officer, Arun Goel previously served as the secretary in the ministry of heavy industry.
  • Arun Goel also served as vice-chairman, Delhi Development Authority; Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Labour and Employment; Joint Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • He took voluntary retirement ahead of his appointment as election commissioner in 2022. He had also served in the union culture ministry.
  • Arun Goel was in line to become the next chief election commissioner after Rajiv Kumar’s tenure ends in February 2025. According to the law, the election commissioner or CEC post can be held for up to six years or till attaining the age of 65.
  • His appointment as Election Commissioner was challenged before the Supreme Court in 2022.
  • In March 2023, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court noted that not only Arun Goel was appointed in a hasty fashion by the government, but he would also have a tenure of a little over two years whereas the law stipulates a six-year tenure for ensuring the officer’s independence and stability of term.
  • In its judgment, the Constitution bench also ruled that election commissioners and the chief election commissioner will henceforth be chosen by a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP), and the Chief Justice of India (CJI), till Parliament passes a law on the appointments.
  • Subsequently, Parliament cleared the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, seeking to replace the CJI with a cabinet minister as one of the three members of the selection panel to choose the CEC and election commissioners — the other two being the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha.



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