Supreme Court overturns ‘unlawful’ poll, AAP Candidate Declared Chandigarh Mayor

chandigarh mayor election Law Insider

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The AAP candidate has been announced as the mayor of Chandigarh, following a Supreme Court decision overturning the ‘unlawful’ election.

In a significant victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Supreme Court has overturned the outcome of the Chandigarh mayoral elections. The decision comes after the Returning Officer invalidated eight ballots, leading to the victory of the BJP candidate.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Kuldeep Kumar, the AAP’s mayoral candidate and the petitioner in this case, has been declared the winner. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, physically examined the disputed ballots and concluded that they were valid votes cast in favor of Kuldeep Kumar.
The bench criticized the actions of the Returning Officer, Anil Masih, stating that he deliberately defaced the ballots, despite none of them showing any signs of tampering. The bench condemned Masih’s conduct, stating that it unlawfully altered the course of the mayoral election and noted that he made false statements before the court, for which he must be held accountable.
The bench emphasized the court’s duty to uphold democratic principles and initiated criminal proceedings against Anil Masih under Section 340 of the CrPC for making false statements.
Previously, the Supreme Court had ordered the submission of the ballot papers and video footage of the vote counting process. The BJP had emerged victorious in the January 30 Chandigarh mayoral elections, securing all three positions and defeating the Congress-AAP alliance. However, the AAP challenged the results, alleging fraud and forgery by the Returning Officer.
Concerns about the fairness of the elections were raised when a video surfaced showing Anil Masih marking the ballot papers while apparently looking at the CCTV footage.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court highlighted the issue of “horse-trading business” in the mayoral elections and asserted that Masih should face prosecution if found guilty of the accusations against him.

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