EC completely autonomous for poll:Khurshid

New Delhi: In the backdrop of the controversy over his remarks about the administrative control of the Election Commission, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said the Commission was completely autonomous as far as the conduct of elections was concerned.

"There are certain areas that, under the law, remain under different ministries. As far as the election process is concerned and the Chief Election Commissioner is concerned, it`s entirely autonomous, independent," he said. Khurshid had recently said in a TV interview that the Law Ministry has control over the Election Commission to the extent that it signs documents related to travel of the Election Commissioners.

He was talking in the context of Team Anna`s objection to CBI being retained under government control under the Lokpal Bill when he had said "every institution is under some control". Khurshid`s remarks had ruffled feathers in the EC whose chief S Y Quraishi complained in a letter about them to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Taking strong exception to these comments, Quraishi has complained to the Prime Minister that Khurshid had allegedly tried to undermine the authority of the Election Commission which is a Constitutional body.

Khurshid also said today that the Election Commission`s recommendations were consulted in all matters related to electoral reforms. "When something has to be done, we go by their recommendations. Their recommendations are considered and will be considered when we start working on electoral reforms on which they have done an enormous amount of work," he said.