AAP candidate declared mayor of Chandigarh; Supreme Court strikes down “illegal” election

TBN, 20/02/24: The Supreme Court on Tuesday annulled the results of the Chandigarh mayoral elections, which saw the BJP candidate win because the Returning Officer had invalidated eight ballot votes. This was a significant victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Kuldeep Kumar, the AAP candidate for mayor and the case’s petitioner, has been proclaimed the election winner by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

After carefully reviewing the ballot papers, a three-judge panel led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and consisting of Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra determined that the eight votes cast in support of AAP’s mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar—which Returning Officer Anil Masih had declared invalid—were legitimate.

Anil Masih made a “deliberate effort to deface eight ballots” that were cast in favour of the petitioner, according to the bench.

“The officer stated in yesterday’s court that he had taken action after discovering that the votes had been tampered with. In actuality, the bench noted that no ballots were defaced according to the records.

“A presiding officer’s behaviour must be disapproved on two levels. First of all, he has illegally changed the direction of the mayoral race with his actions. Second, the officer must be held accountable for expressing a flagrant falsehood in a statement made before this court, the bench stated.

In addition, the bench filed criminal charges against Anil Masih for making false statements in court under Section 340 of the CrPC.

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