SC Declares AAP Candidate Kuldeep Kumar As Mayor Of Chandigarh, Holds Presiding Officer Guilty Of Defacing Ballots

SC Declares AAP Candidate Kuldeep Kumar As Mayor Of Chandigarh, Holds Presiding Officer Guilty Of Defacing Ballots

The SC announced its verdict after holding that results declared by the Presiding Officer Anil Masih are unlawful and have to be set aside.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 04:44 PM IST
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Kuldeep Kumar as the winner of the Chandigarh Mayoral polls. The SC announced its verdict after holding that results declared by the Presiding Officer Anil Masih are unlawful and have to be set aside. Masih had invalidated 8 ballot votes received in favour of the AAP candidate.

Results declared by Masih unlawful: SC

"The conduct of the Presiding Officer has to be deprecated at two levels. Firstly, he has unlawfully altered the course of Mayoral election. Secondly, in making a solemn statement before this Court on 19 Feb, the Presiding Officer expressed falsehood for which he must be held accountable," the SC said in its order.

"For the above reasons, we have come to the conclusion that the results declared by the Presiding Officer are unlawful and have to be set aside."

SC refuses to set aside entire election process

The SC refused to set aside the entire election process and said it is of the view that setting aside the entire election process is inappropriate as the only infirmity is found in the counting process.

"This Court is duty bound to ensure that the democratic process is not set at naught by such subterfuges. We are therefore of the view that the Court must step in such exceptional circumstances to ensure that the basic democratic mandate is ensured," the SC said in its order.

Coming to the operative part of the judgement, the SC said, "From the result sheet, while the petitioner got 12 votes, the 8 votes which were treated as invalid wrongly, were validly passed in favour of the petitioner. Adding the 8 votes would make his tally 20 votes. The 8th respondent on the other hand polled 16 votes."

"The petitioner is declared to be the validly elected candidate for the post of Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation," the SC declared.

Issue notice under Section 340 CrPC to Masih: SC

The Apex Court also held that a fit case is made out for the initiation of proceedings under Section 340 CrPC against Anil Masih.

"Registrar Judicial is directed to issue a notice to Anil Masih, to show cause as to why steps should not be initiated against him under Section 340 CrPC," the court ordered.

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