Ex-bureaucrat Arun Goel assumes charge as new election commissioner

Former Bureaucrat Arun Goel assumed the office of election commissioner of India today, Monday, after being appointed to the post on November 19. The post of one election commissioner in the three-member commission has been lying vacant since May when Sushil Chandra retired as Chief Election Commissioner. 

Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju while notifying the appointment made by President Droupadi Murmu said, “The President is pleased to appoint Arun Goel, IAS (Retd.) (PB: 1985) as the Election Commissioner in the Election Commission with effect from the date he assumes the office,”

The former Punjab cadre IAS officer was working as the Secretary of Heavy Industries till Friday when he took voluntary retirement from the post. He also served as the Secretary of the Culture Ministry and Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority. 

Goel will now join Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey on the poll panel. He will also be in line to be the next CEC after the tenure of the incumbent CEC expires in February 2025. He will be in office till December 2027. Before taking voluntary retirement Goel was set to superannuate on December 31, 2022.

Goel’s elevation comes, days before elections in the poll-bound state of Gujarat in two phases are set to begin. The results for two important states, that is, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be declared on December 8.

According to the law governing the appointment, service conditions, and retirement of election commissioners, a person can serve as an EC or CEC for six years or until the age of 65, whichever comes first. 

In the coming months, the full-strength poll panel will have the responsibility of deciding the election schedule for Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka.

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