The Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI D.Y Chandrachud Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra today heard the petition filed by AAM Adami counsellor, Kuldeep Kumar, challenging the refusal of the Punjab and Haryana H.C. to stay the Chandigarh mayor elections.
After seeing the video of the controversial elections in which a BJP candidate was declared the winner , after the votes of eight candidates of the congress- Aam Aadmi Party alliance were declared invalid .
The Apex Court , today, came down heavily on the presiding officer who conducted the elections by orally saying that he defaced the ballot papers.
The CJI said that the court was appalled to see the behaviour of the presiding election officer and that he could be seen making allerations in the ballot paper. The court issued a notice on petitioner’s petition, in this case Kuldeep Kumar, the court ordered that the Chandigarh Municipal corporation meeting scheduled for 7th of February, 2024 should be postponed.
The court also ordered that the entire record of the mayor election should be separated from and be kept with the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s registrar general and, in addition, the ballots and videography be preserved.
The Supreme Court , along with it said that the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh who has the possession of the records ,at present, should hand them over to the High Court registrar general by 5p.m on the same day itself.
Presiding officer was directed by the court to remain personally resent before the court on 19th February,2024 to explain his conduct and behaviour in the same case.
Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, contended that the video only showed one side of the picture and urged that the court should take a comprehensive view after seeing the entire records. He also stated that the Returning Officer has handed over the entire record in a sealed format to the Deputy Commissioner, UT Chandigarh on 30 January 2024.
The CJI being critical of High Court’s order that it had failed to address the issue an appropriate interim order. “This is a murder of democracy. This man should be prosecuted”, the CJI observed.
CASE NAME: Kuldeep Kumar Versus U.T., Chandigarh and others
WRITER NAME: GANEESHA KHURANA
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