Supreme Court Overturns Chandigarh Mayoral Election Result in AAP's Favor
Supreme Court Overturns Chandigarh Mayoral Election Result in AAP's Favor

New Delhi: In a significant victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Supreme Court has overturned the outcome of the Chandigarh mayoral elections, where eight ballot votes were wrongly invalidated by the Returning Officer, resulting in the victory of the BJP candidate.

Following the Supreme Court's ruling, AAP's mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar, who also filed the petition, has been declared the rightful winner of the election. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, leading a three-judge bench, highlighted that the eight invalidated ballots were indeed valid and cast in favor of AAP's candidate, Kuldeep Kumar. The bench condemned the deliberate actions of Returning Officer Anil Masih, who unlawfully tampered with the ballots cast for the petitioner.

"The Presiding Officer's conduct is reprehensible on two counts. Firstly, he unlawfully altered the outcome of the mayoral election. Secondly, he made false statements before this court, for which he must be held accountable," remarked the bench. The bench emphasized the court's duty to uphold democratic principles and issued a notice against Returning Officer Anil Masih for potential contempt of court.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the submission of ballot papers and video footage of the vote counting process in the Chandigarh mayoral polls. In the January 30 polls, the BJP secured victory in all three mayoral positions, defeating the Congress-AAP alliance. AAP subsequently approached the Supreme Court, alleging "fraud and forgery" by Returning Officer Anil Masih during the election process. 

A viral video showing Anil Masih marking ballot papers while seemingly monitoring CCTV footage raised concerns about the fairness of the elections. During Monday's hearing, the Supreme Court criticized the alleged "horse-trading" in the mayoral polls and stated that Masih should face prosecution if found guilty of the accusations against him.

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