Chandigarh Mayor Elections: 'We will not allow democracy to be murdered,' says Supreme Court

Chandigarh Mayor Elections: The criticism comes in the context of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) securing the mayor's post after the Returning Officer declared eight votes, initially designated for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as invalid. In response, the AAP filed a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

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Courtesy: ANI

Chandigarh Mayor Elections: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, DY Chandrachud made scathing remarks on Monday during the hearing of pleas challenging the election of the mayor in Chandigarh. The Chief Justice slammed the Returning Officer, accusing him of defacing ballot papers and condemning the entire election process as a "mockery of democracy" and a "murder of democracy."

Questioning the behavior of the Returning Officer, Chief Justice Chandrachud stated, "Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is appalling. This man should be prosecuted." 

The criticism comes in the context of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) securing the mayor's post after the Returning Officer declared eight votes, initially designated for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), as invalid. In response, the AAP filed a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

Apex Court orders preservation of records of the election process

As a response to the contentious election, the Supreme Court issued orders for the preservation of the entire record of the election process, including ballot papers, videography, and other relevant materials. The directive was given through the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The apex court further ruled that the forthcoming meeting of the Chandigarh Corporation would be postponed until the next date of the hearing.

The controversial mayoral election took place on Tuesday, where the BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar secured 16 votes out of 35. However, the Congress and AAP mayoral candidate Kuldeep Singh managed to secure only 12 votes, while eight votes were declared invalid. The AAP raised concerns of foul play, particularly highlighting that all eight invalidated votes were from their camp.

Raghav Chadha raises concerns

AAP MP Raghav Chadha emphasized the unusual occurrence of eight votes being declared invalid out of the total 35 votes in the Chandigarh mayoral elections. He alleged that despite the Congress and AAP alliance needing 20 votes, they received only 12, with the remaining eight votes declared invalid. Chadha also pointed out that not a single vote from the BJP was invalidated in the process, further fueling suspicions of irregularities in the election.