Tuesday 20 February 2024

Supreme Court Overturns Chandigarh Mayoral Election, Declares AAP Candidate Winner, Initiates Contempt Proceedings Against Returning Officer

New Delhi: In a stunning turn of events, the Supreme Court today delivered a scathing verdict in the Chandigarh mayoral election controversy, overturning the BJP candidate's victory and declaring AAP's Kuldeep Kumar as the rightful Mayor. The Court also initiated contempt of court proceedings against the returning officer, Anil Masih, for his deliberate attempt to manipulate the vote count in favor of the BJP.

Judgement Highlights:

  • Misconduct by Returning Officer: The Court, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, deemed Masih's actions a "misdemeanour" and a "deliberate attempt to deface eight ballot papers" favoring AAP.
  • Contempt Notice Issued: Masih faces contempt of court charges for misleading the Court in his statements on February 19th. He must respond to a show-cause notice within three weeks before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  • AAP Candidate Declared Mayor: As the eight invalidated votes were all in favor of Kumar, the Court declared him the rightful winner, nullifying the BJP candidate's victory.
  • No Re-Election: Despite allegations of recent defections from AAP to BJP, the Court declined a re-election, citing the seriousness of "horsetrading" practices.

Masih's Actions Condemned:

The Court's strong stance echoed its earlier criticism of Masih's actions, labelling them a "mockery of democracy." The viral video showing him marking ballot papers was deemed sufficient evidence of his intent.

Implications:

This verdict not only upholds the democratic process but also serves as a strong message against electoral manipulation. It also puts an end to speculation about the BJP retaining control of the Chandigarh civic body through recent political maneuvers.



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