Arun Goel, a 1985 batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre who took voluntary retirement from Friday, has been appointed as an Election Commissioner.
He was to retire on December 31, 2022 after completing 60 years of age.
Once he joins his new responsibility, Goel would be in line to be the next chief election commissioner after incumbent Rajiv Kumar demits office in February 2025.
He will join CEC Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey on the poll panel.
There was a vacancy in the EC following the retirement of Sushil Chandra as CEC in May this year.
Goel was, till recently, the heavy industries secretary and his voluntary retirement came into effect on November 18. He has also served in the Union Culture ministry.
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According to the law dealing with appointment, service conditions and retirement of election commissioners, a person can hold the office of an EC or CEC for six years or till attaining the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
Goel will be in office till December 2027.
“The President is pleased to appoint Shri Arun Goel, IAS (Retd.) (PB: 1985) as the Election Commissioner in the Election Commission with effect from the date he assumes the office,” the law ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
His appointment comes days before Gujarat goes to two-phase polls on December one and five.
The poll panel will have its full strength when it decides the election schedule for Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Karnataka in the coming months.