HomeOthersMC Chandigarh mayoral election Presiding officer rapped by Supreme Court judges

MC Chandigarh mayoral election Presiding officer rapped by Supreme Court judges

MC Chandigarh mayoral election Presiding officer rapped by Supreme Court judges

Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ February 5,2024

Today, a three judge bench presided by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud rapped Anil Massih the presiding officer of MC Chandigarh mayoral election ,while hearing the plea by AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar.

The court also said “the ensuing meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation which is scheduled to take place on February 7, 2024, shall be deferred pending further orders of this court.

A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Monday came down heavily on the conduct of the presiding officer in the Chandigarh mayoral elections

The judges directed that the “entire record pertaining to the election of the mayor of Municipal Corporation Chandigarh   shall be seized under the custody of the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court” by 5 pm on Monday.

The bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, ordered that a meeting of the newly elected council which is to take place on February 7 be deferred pending further orders.

“Is this behaviour of a returning officer? (He) looks at the camera, faces the ballot and then obviously where there is a cross at the bottom, he just keeps it in the tray. The moment there is a cross at the top, the man defaces the ballots and looks at the camera to see who is looking at him,” CJI Chandrachud asked while hearing the plea by AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar.

“Please tell your returning officer that the Supreme Court is watching over him. And we will not allow democracy to be murdered like this. The great force in this country is the purity of the electoral process, but what has happened here!” the CJI exclaimed.

MC Chandigarh mayoral election Presiding officer raped by Supreme Court judges

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta said there cannot be any dispute on what the CJI said about the purity of elections but urged the bench not to form an opinion without getting the entire picture. ‘Your Lordships have seen only one side of the picture.”

The CJI then said that the entire video be produced before the court on the next occasion and Mehta agreed to do so.

MC Chandigarh mayoral election Presiding officer rapped by Supreme Court judgesCJI remarked, “Why is he looking at the camera like a fugitive? He has to be doing his duty. He looks at the camera and kindly he defaces the ballot”.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kumar said it can be solved by holding a fresh election after sequestering the record and the bench agreed.

Issuing a notice, the bench said, “Prima facie, at this stage we are of the considered view that an appropriate interim order was warranted, which the High Court has failed to pass, in order to protect the purity and sanctity of the electoral process. We direct that the entire record pertaining to the election of the mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation shall be requested under the custody of the registrar general of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. This shall include the ballot papers, videography of the entire electoral process and all other material in the custody of the returning officer”.

“This exercise shall be carried out forthwith by 5 pm this evening. The returning officer shall hand over the records as it is…” the order added.

The AAP councillor has approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the High Court to list his petition after three weeks without granting an immediate stay of the results.
In the Chandigarh Mayor Elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Manoj Sonkar emerged victorious as it secured 16 votes against the 12 votes received by Kuldeep Kumar, the candidate backed by Congress and AAP. The Presiding Officer rejected 8 votes as invalid.

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