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Business News/ News / India/  'Deeply concerned about horse-trading': SC on Chandigarh Mayor polls; RO Anil Masih rapped for ‘murder of democracy'
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'Deeply concerned about horse-trading': SC on Chandigarh Mayor polls; RO Anil Masih rapped for ‘murder of democracy'

CJI DY Chandrachud expresses concern over Chandigarh Mayor polls, calls for transparency in vote counting process

CJI DY CHandrachud on Monday expressed concern over the Chandigarh elections held recently. (PTI)Premium
CJI DY CHandrachud on Monday expressed concern over the Chandigarh elections held recently. (PTI)

Expressing concern over the Chandigarh Mayor polls, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the officials to present the entire video recording of the counting day during the next hearing on Tuesday. 

“We are deeply concerned about the horse-trading which is taking place," said CJI DY Chandrachud while coming down heavily on Returning Officer (RO) Anil Masih, who conducted the mayoral polls.

“This whole business of horse trading which is going on is very disturbing. Let the entire video of counting of the votes be also produced tomorrow noon," he added.

While hearing the matter, the apex court refused to carry out fresh elections and proposed the declaration of the result after the recounting of the votes that were cast during the controversial Chandigarh mayoral polls. 

The SC also stated that the returning officer's action of defacing the ballot papers amounted to "murder" and a "mockery" of democracy. The top court also said that he should be prosecuted for the same.

In response to judges' remarks and questions, Masih said that he did put the “X" mark on eight already "defaced" ballot papers and accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillors of creating a ruckus and trying to snatch away the ballot papers.

However, this time the vote counting will be done regardless of the marks that were made on them by Anil Masih. The counting of votes for the second time would take place after the appointment of a new returning officer who is not associated with any political party. Moreover, the registrar general of HC will oversee the process, said CJI Chandrachud on Monday.

The Supreme Court also directed the administration to provide security to judicial officers to ensure the safety of officers and records.

“We will call for the ballot papers here, we will ask the HC reg general to depute a person and submit all the records before us tomorrow. We will list this tomorrow and see the ballot papers and decide what to do," Bar and Bench quoted CJI Chandrachud.

Amid the SC hearing in the matter, BJP's Manoj Sonkar resigned from his post recently. Sonjar defeated AAP's Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor's post by four votes, whereas eight votes were declared invalid.

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Published: 19 Feb 2024, 04:06 PM IST
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