Last update: February 5, 2024, 17:16 IST
The Supreme Court also ordered that the next meeting of the Chandigarh Corporation be adjourned till the next hearing in the matter. (File image)
The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the chairman of the Chandigarh mayoral elections, saying it is evident that he defaced the ballot papers.
The high court was hearing the plea of an AAP councilor challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to grant any interim relief to the party seeking fresh mayoral elections in Chandigarh.
“Is this how you conduct elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is a murder of democracy. We are dismayed. This man should be prosecuted. Is this the behavior of the returning officer? CJI DY Chandrachud said.
The high court ordered preservation of the entire record of the electoral process, including voting papers, videographies and other material, through the Registrar General of Punjab and the Haryana High Court.
The court further ordered that the next meeting of Chandigarh Corporation be adjourned till the next hearing in the matter.
“SG Mehta claims that the entire record is handed over to the deputy commissioner of UT Chandigarh. The deputy commissioner will hand it over to the registrar general HC. The next meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will be postponed to the next date. Let the documents be handed over to the HC registrar general at 5 pm today,” the CJI added.
Chandigarh mayoral polls
He BJP sweeps Chandigarh mayoral electionsretaining all three seats on January 30, after eight votes from the INDIA bloc were declared invalid.
Following the BJP’s sweeping victory, the Congress-AAP alliance alleged that the president had tampered with ballot papers and sought fresh elections under the supervision of a retired court judge.
A division bench of Justices Sudhir Singh and Harsh Bunger of the high court on Wednesday denied interim relief to the Aam Aadmi Party over its plea of moderation in the mayoral elections.
The high court issued notices to the Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation, president Anil Masih and newly elected mayor Manoj Sonkar, among others, asking them to submit their replies within three weeks.
Following the high court’s order, AAP councilor Kuldeep Kumar, candidate for the post of mayor, moved the high court against the denial of interim relief and inclusion of the declaration after three weeks.
AAP leaders react to Supreme Court ruling
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandip Pathak termed the apex court ruling as a good decision and said it is about “fixing culpability and criminal liability”.
“It’s a good decision. Such a decision reaffirms faith in the judicial system. They had fraudulently declared 8 votes illegal. BJP was caught doing this on camera. It is not about holding elections again. But it is about resolving guilt and criminal responsibility,” the AAP leader said.