Updated February 20th, 2024 at 15:34 IST

Chandigarh Mayor Polls: 8 ‘Defaced’ Votes Valid, Says SC; Orders Recounting

Chandigarh Mayor Poll: All 8 Ballots Have Votes Cast in Favour of AAP, Rules Supreme Court

Reported by: Digital Desk
Chandigarh Mayoral Poll Row | Image:PTI
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Chandigarh Mayoral Poll: While hearing a petition on the Chandigarh Mayoral election, the Supreme Court on Tuesday took into note that all invalidated eight ballots have votes cast in favour of the AAP Mayor Candidate Kuldeep Kumar. CJI Chandrachud showed the ballots to the lawyers and observed that all eight had received the stamp for Kuldeep Kumar, AAP’s councillor, and the votes were cast for him. 

"What the Returning Officer Anil Masih does is, he puts a single line", the CJI observed. Moreover, the top court asserted that it will direct that the votes at the poll shall be recounted and these eight shall be treated as valid. Thereafter, results be declared based on that, a bench led by CJI Chandrachud stated. 

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For the unversed, Manoj Sonkar of the BJP secured the mayor's position with a majority of 16 votes, defeating his opponent who managed to gather only 12 votes. However, Sonkar resigned from the position shortly afterwards. Adding to the political dynamics, three AAP councillors defected to the BJP, altering the balance of power within the council. 

Yesterday, the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra came down heavily on the returning officer, Anil Masih, saying that the latter should be prosecuted. Expressing deep concern over the alleged defacement of ballot papers during the recently concluded Chandigarh mayoral polls, the top court has ordered the production of the ballot papers and video of the counting of votes.

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The bench had also directed the deputy commissioner to appoint a fresh returning officer devoid of any political party. Moreover, it added that the 'horestrading' which is going on is a serious matter.

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 15:05 IST