India

"Values Not In Consonance": Election Commission's Lawyer Quits

Mohit D Ram's resignation comes after the Election Commission fought a case in the Supreme Court.

New Delhi:

One of the lawyers in the Election Commission's panel of counsels for the Supreme Court has resigned saying his values "are not in consonance" with the poll body at this point.

Mohit D Ram, who had been on the Election Commission's counsel panel since 2013, said in his resignation letter: "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 described representing the Election Commission "a cherishing milestone" of his career.

Mr Ram's resignation comes after the Election Commission fought a case in the Supreme Court requesting that the media be stopped from reporting court observations. The Election Commission's objection involved the Madras High Court recently commenting that the poll body was singularly responsible for the Covid surge and "should be booked for murder" for not stopping election rallies in the last two months. The comment was not in the final order.

The Election Commission approached the Supreme Court against what it called "blatantly disparaging remarks" that had dented its image.

The Supreme Court said constitutional authorities could do better than to complain and ask for fetters on the media.

"Article 19 does not give right to freedom of speech and expression only to people, but also confers this right to the media. It would be retrograde for the Supreme Court to gag the media," the Supreme Court said.