Active Stocks
Fri Jun 14 2024 15:58:47
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,597.45 1.05%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 840.20 -0.44%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 183.05 0.30%
  1. ICICI Bank share price
  2. 1,105.10 -0.20%
  1. Kotak Mahindra Bank share price
  2. 1,717.00 -0.54%
Business News/ Politics / News/  Supreme Court says no fresh elections. What happens next in Chandigarh mayoral polls?
BackBack

Supreme Court says no fresh elections. What happens next in Chandigarh mayoral polls?

Eight ‘defaced’ ballot papers at the heart of the controversy around last month's Chandigarh Mayoral Election have to be produced in the Supreme Court for counting on February 20.

AAP presents CCTV footage as proof of BJP's tampering in Chandigarh Mayor pollsPremium
AAP presents CCTV footage as proof of BJP's tampering in Chandigarh Mayor polls

The Supreme Court said on February 19 that the results of the controversial Chandigarh Mayoral election will be declared on the basis of the existing ballot papers instead of a fresh election. 

The top court said it would peruse on February 20 the ballot papers and the video recording of the counting day.

Thus eight "defaced" ballot papers which are at the heart of the controversy around last month's Chandigarh Mayoral Election leading to a political and legal fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have to be produced in the Supreme Court February 20.

ALSO READ: Chandigarh Mayor election: Returning officer has to be prosecuted as he was interfering, says Supreme Court

The votes already cast will be counted by disregarding the marks which were made on them by the previous Presiding Officer Anil Masih, as per SC directives.

What it means?

Basically there won't be any fresh election to settle the dispute over the outcome of the results of election held on January 30. BJP's Manoj Sonkar was elected Mayor with a four-vote margin after eight ballots by AAP councillors were declared invalid. Sonkar, however, resigned as Mayor ahead of February 19 SC hearing.

The Court has asked the Deputy Commissioner of the Chandigarh Administration to nominate an officer, not aligned with any political parties, to be the new returning officer to count the ballots and declare the results. The Court said that the counting process will be judicially overseen by a judicial officer nominated by the Punjab High Court.

 

"The process shall be taken to the logical conclusion from the stage it stopped before the declaration of results...", Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said as reported by legal news website LiveLaw.

"Let the results be declared disregarding any mark put by the (original) Returning Officer (Anil Masih). Let the process be overseen judicially by the (Punjab and Haryana) High Court," the CJI said.

Advantage AAP?

The SC directives would mean a blow to the BJP, the party that would have been in a strong position in case a fresh poll was ordered. Even as the saffron party was shot of majority on the original poll day on January 30, but three AAP councilors - Poonam Devi, Neha, and Gurcharan Kala - joining the BJP on the day of SC hearing on February 19 gave BJP hopes.

The BJP now has 17 votes in the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The Akali Dal councillor, and the Chandigarh Lok Sabha MP Kirron Kher - who has voting rights as an ex-officio member - makes in 19 for BJP and allies. With thee defections, the AAP has only 10 votes. The Congress, which is an AAP ally, has seven votes. Thus, the AAP-Congress alliance has 17 votes. A fresh election would have seen the BJP at a narrow advantage.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it showed that BJP won the elections by using "unfair means". "If the mayor has resigned then it is very obvious that something is suspicious there. It clearly shows that they won the elections by unfair means," Kejriwal said addressing the media outside the Delhi Assembly on February 19.

The Controversy

The AAP leader Kuldeep Kumar, who lost the January 30 Mayoral Election, had approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the High Court to list his petition after three weeks. Kumar had moved the High Court alleging vote tampering in the polls. The BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar had secured 16 votes against the 12 votes received by Kuldeep Kumar, the candidate backed jointly by Congress and AAP. The Presiding Officer rejected 8 votes as invalid

In the February 19 hearing, the court also made strong observations about Presiding Officer Anil Masih's role in this controversy. In the earlier hearing, the top court had called his actions a "mockery of democracy."

3.6 Crore Indians visited in a single day choosing us as India's undisputed platform for General Election Results. Explore the latest updates here!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 19 Feb 2024, 07:03 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You