'Mockery & Murder Of Democracy': Supreme Court Comes Down Heavily On Chandigarh Mayoral Poll Video

'Mockery & Murder Of Democracy': Supreme Court Comes Down Heavily On Chandigarh Mayoral Poll Video

The apex court orally said that "it is obvious that" the Presiding Officer who oversaw the Chandigarh Mayor elections tampered with the ballot papers.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Monday, February 05, 2024, 04:56 PM IST
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The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the recently held mayoral polls in Chandigarh, terming the process as 'mockery & murder of democracy.' The apex court orally said that "it is obvious that" the Presiding Officer who oversaw the Chandigarh Mayor elections tampered with the ballot papers.

Mockery of democracy, presiding officer should be prosecuted: SC

"Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is mockery of democracy. This is murder of democracy. This man should be prosecuted," Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud commented upon viewing the footage of the contentious election, where a BJP candidate was declared the victor following the disqualification of the votes of 8 candidates from the Congress-AAP coalition.

Why is he running like fugitive?: SC on presiding officer

The Chief Justice of India expressed shock at the conduct of the Presiding Officer, stating, "We are appalled to see his behavior." He questioned, "Why is he looking at the camera and running like a fugitive?"

The bench, which included Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra, was hearing a petition filed by AAP Councillor Kuldeep Kumar, the unsuccessful mayoral candidate, challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court's decision not to postpone the election immediately.

Issuing notice on Kumar's petition, the Court instructed that the upcoming meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation slated for February 7 be deferred.

The Court further mandated that all records pertaining to the mayoral election be secured and entrusted to the Registrar General of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, along with the preservation of the ballots and video recordings. The Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh, currently in possession of the records, must transfer them to the Registrar General of the High Court by today at 5 PM.

SC slams HC for inaction

Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the petitioner, argued that a BJP candidate served as the Presiding Officer and displayed bias by intentionally spoiling eight ballot papers belonging to Congress-AAP councillors, thus nullifying their votes. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta countered, suggesting that the video presented a biased perspective and urged the Court to assess the complete records before forming a comprehensive opinion.

The Supreme Court, also slamming the Punjab & Haryana HC for inaction in this case, said, "An appropriate interim order was warranted which HC has failed to do."

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