Difficult choice between staying at EC or going to ADB: Lavasa

Bidding him farewell, Chief Election Commissioner Arora wished Lavasa the very best ahead for meeting bigger challenges and achieving more milestones.
Ashok Lavasa

New Delhi, Aug 28 : Outgoing Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, who was next in line to head the poll panel, on Friday said that he would remember his two and a half year stint at the Commission as a “memorable experience”.

“It was a difficult choice on whether to continue in the EC or move on to the global canvas of the Asian Development Bank (ADB),” he said at his farewell at the Election Commission as he moves on take up a prestigious assignment as Vice President of the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Former IAS officer Lavasa had become an Election Commissioner on January 23, 2018 and will demit office on August 31, following his resignation on August 18.

A 1980 batch officer of Haryana cadre, he was next in the line become Chief Election Commissioner after the retirement of incumbent Sunil Arora in April 2021.

As Election Commissioner, Lavasa figured in thee headlines when he registered his dissent on the poll panel’s clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then BJP President Amit Shah on alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Bidding him farewell, Chief Election Commissioner Arora wished Lavasa the very best ahead for meeting bigger challenges and achieving more milestones.

“ECI’s loss is ADB’s gain where Lavasa’s competence would now be available at the wider multilateral platform for the daunting task of restructuring economies in post-Covid scenario,” he said.

Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra appreciated Lavasa’s work in the Finance Ministry earlier and especially lauded his guidance in framing broad guidelines for elections to be held in Covid times.

The Commission also bid farewell to outgoing Director, Election Expenditure, Vikram Batra as he returns to his cadre after completing his term at the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, Volume VI of “Landmark Judgments”, a compendium of election-related judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and various High Courts from January 2017 to May 2019, that is till the conclusion of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, was also released on the occasion.

The Commission also released its e-version at

https://eci.gov.in/ebooks/landmark-judgment/index.html.

Volume VI contains 29 significant judgments covering various aspects of the electoral process like nomination, affidavit, EVM VVPAT, Model Code of Conduct, corrupt practices and other related matters. This volume also lists the judgments already published by the EC in the previous five volumes.

Additionally, the volume also lists 632 cases filed in the Supreme Court and various High Courts during the period leading to the 2019 polls.

In his message, the CEC said: “I harbour the sanguine hope that this publication would further illuminate us about the domain of election law and embolden the officials concerned to execute the gigantic exercise by taking solace in the fact that their actions have consistently earned the approbation of judiciary.”

Lavasa said that this volume will “broaden understanding of the laws governing the vast electoral exercise of our country”, while Chandra expressed hope that it will benefit all citizens of the country in understanding the election process.

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