New Delhi: To make the selection of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners transparent and unbiased, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday ordered the creation of a three-member panel of the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha or leader of the largest opposition party and the Chief Justice of India to select them.

In a unanimous verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice KM Joseph ruled that the new system created by it shall remain in force until a law in this regard was made by Parliament.

Earlier on November 24 last year, the bench had reserved its verdict.

The bench observed that “the Election Commission has to be independent; it cannot claim to be independent then act in an unfair manner. A person in a state of obligation to the State cannot have an independent frame of mind. An independent person will not be servile to those in power.”

The verdict came on petitions seeking an ‘independent’ mechanism to appoint the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

The apex court has asked the government to consider making necessary changes with regard to funding of the Election Commission from the Consolidated Fund of India and the need to have a separate Secretariat.

Maintaining that the Election Commission has to remain aloof from all forms of subjugation by the Executive, the Bench said, “One of the ways it can interfere is cutting off financial support. A vulnerable Election Commission would result in an insidious situation and detract from its efficient functioning.”