EC’s Panel Counsel In Supreme Court Steps Down, Says Values Incompatible With Poll Body
NEW DELHI – The panel counsel for the Election Commission in the Supreme Court, Advocate Mohit D. Ram, stepped down Thursday citing incompatibility of values with the poll body.
Ram, who has held the post since 2013, wrote a letter to the Director of the Law Commission conveying his decision.
“It was an honour to represent the Election Commission of India (ECI). I had a cherishing milestone of my career, in the journey which began with being part of the office of Standing Counsel of ECI and progressed as one of the panel counsels of ECI (since 2013),” read Rao’s letter.
“However, I have found that my values are not in consonance with the current functioning of the ECI; and hence I withdraw myself from the responsibilities of its panel counsel before the Supreme Court of India,” he added.
However, according to a spokesperson of the commission, Ram had not been given any of the EC’s cases since 2019.
Ram’s resignation comes at a time when the poll panel has been at the receiving end of criticism from several quarters, including the judiciary.
Last week, the Madras High Court observed that the EC should be put on murder charges, and that they were “the most irresponsible over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the Covid-19 protocol”.
The court had also said that the commission was the “only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today”, referring to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.
The ECI responded with a plea in the court to gag the media on reporting oral observations like these, which was rejected by the Madras High Court.
They then approached the Supreme Court, who also refused to gag the media. The top court said that media reporting on court proceedings augments public scrutiny and are crucial to maintain institutional transparency and accountability.