Article 243K has become a point of discussion these days after the Government of Andhra Pradesh passed an ordinance to reduce the term of State Election Commissioner. In this article, I am going to explain article 243K and the power of removal of state election commissioner in the hands of the government of a state. Firstly, there are 3 bodies in India. They are the Legislative body, Executive body, and Constitutional body. The election commission, Judiciary, the civil services come under the constitutional body. As we know the election commission is an Individual body even in a state it is an individual body and politics does not work here.
Now let us know about article 243K
Dumped from the Indian constitution Article 243K Clause(2) “Subject to the provisions of any law made by the Legislature of a State the conditions of service and tenure of office of the State Election Commissioner shall be such as the Governor may by rule determine: Provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like ground as a Judge of a High Court and the conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment”
The above article states that a state election commissioner will be appointment and tenure of his office can direct as in the law made by the state legislature and his removal will be same as the Chief Justice of Highcourt, that means, to remove a state election commissioner, the removal discussion should undergo in both the houses of the parliament and should pass with at least 2/3rd majority.
But, in the case of Andhra Pradesh state ordinance, the government used the point in clause 2 of Article 243K that, “the tenure and appointment will be directed as per the law made by the state legislature”. Generally, the term of state election commissioner is 5 years. But, the government of Andhra Pradesh state has passed an ordinance reducing the tenure to 3 years. So, the present election commissioner who has already worked for 4 years has to step down.
The state election commissioner has approached the court of law challenging the ordinance of Andhra Pradesh state. But, at this point of time, we cannot say the Judgement outcome. The above article only explains about the articles that are present in the constitution. There is no political aspect in this.