SC declares AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar as Chandigarh mayoral election winner | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Supreme Court declares AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar as Chandigarh mayoral election winner

Feb 20, 2024 05:27 PM IST

Supreme Court declares AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar as Chandigarh mayoral election winner

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Aam Aadmi Party's candidate Kuldeep Kumar as the winner of Chandigarh mayoral polls, setting aside the results of January 30 elections.

The court said that the eight votes declared as invalid by returning officer Anil Masih have been treated as valid and in favour of the AAP candidate. The court directed Kuldeep Kumar to be elected as mayor with 20 votes.

Manoj Sonkar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had defeated Kuldeep Kumar after polling 16 votes against his rival's 12 to bag the mayor's post. Sonkar, however, resigned subsequently, while three AAP councillors defected to the BJP.

ALSO READ: Chandigarh mayor polls: What Supreme Court said in its verdict?

The apex court made it clear that it was not quashing the entire electoral exercise and restricting itself to dealing with the wrong-doings in the counting process which led to invalidation of eight votes cast in Kumar's favour.

The top court bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud directed Registrar Judicial to issue notice to Anil Masih for perjury proceedings for making false statement before the court.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

Perjury proceedings have been initiated against Masih under Section 340 CrPC as he told the Court that the mark was made on 8 ballots as they were defaced

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However, the Court found that the ballots were not defaced till the poll results were announced. During the hearing, CJI Chandrachud had lashed out at the returning officer who had stated that he put the ‘X’ mark on the ballots as they were defaced. He also said that the mark was put so that the ballots did not get mixed up.

"All the ballot papers were defaced. I was just marking them. There were so many cameras that I was just looking at them,” Masih had said.

On Tuesday, the CJI asked the returning officer,"Mr.Masih, yesterday you told us that you put the lines because the ballot papers were defaced. Where is the ballot paper defaced?"

(With bureau inputs)

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