Home Politics AAP candidate declared Chandigarh mayor as Supreme Court overturns “unlawful” election

AAP candidate declared Chandigarh mayor as Supreme Court overturns “unlawful” election

AAP candidate declared Chandigarh mayor as Supreme Court overturns “unlawful” election

In a significant victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Supreme Court has overturned the results of the Chandigarh mayoral elections. The decision comes after the Returning Officer invalidated eight ballot votes, leading to the victory of the BJP candidate.

The Supreme Court’s ruling now declares AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar as the rightful winner of the election. This verdict follows a thorough examination by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, which physically reviewed the disputed ballot papers. The bench, which also included Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, concluded that the eight invalidated ballots were indeed valid and cast in favor of AAP’s mayoral candidate, Kuldeep Kumar.

The bench criticized the actions of the Returning Officer, Anil Masih, stating that he made a deliberate effort to deface the eight ballots cast in favor of the petitioner. The court highlighted Masih’s false statement regarding the condition of the ballots, emphasizing that none of them were actually defaced. Such actions were deemed as a violation of democratic principles, warranting strong condemnation from the court.

Chandigarh Mayor
Image: Times of India

Furthermore, the bench initiated criminal proceedings against Anil Masih under Section 340 of the CrPC for making false statements before the court. This underscores the seriousness of his misconduct and emphasizes the importance of upholding the integrity of the electoral process.

Prior to this ruling, the Supreme Court had ordered the production of the ballot papers and video footage of the vote counting process in the Chandigarh mayoral polls. This move reflects the court’s commitment to ensuring transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

The mayoral polls in Chandigarh had witnessed the BJP securing victory on January 30, retaining all three posts and defeating the Congress-AAP alliance. However, allegations of fraud and forgery were raised by AAP against the Returning Officer, Anil Masih, prompting them to seek judicial intervention.

The court’s attention was drawn to a viral video showing Anil Masih allegedly tampering with the ballot papers while glancing at the CCTV footage, raising concerns about the integrity of the election process. Such actions were deemed unacceptable, and the court emphasized the need to address any instances of malpractice or manipulation in the electoral process.

During the court proceedings, the issue of “horse-trading business” in the mayoral polls was also highlighted, indicating broader concerns about unethical practices influencing election outcomes. The court expressed its firm stance on combating such practices and stressed the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions.

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