‘Obvious That Presiding Officer Defaced Ballot Papers, This Is Murder Of Democracy’: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday (February 5) came down heavily on the Presiding Officer who conducted the Chandigarh Mayor elections by orally saying, “It is obvious that he defaced the ballot papers.” “Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is the murder of democracy. This man should be prosecuted,” Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud remarked after seeing the video of the controversial election, in which a BJP candidate was declared the winner after the vote.

The CJI said that the Court is “appalled” to see the behavior of the Presiding Officer. “Why is he looking at the camera and running like a fugitive?”, CJI said after seeing the video of the proceedings. After watching the video, CJI said that the Presiding Officer was seen making alterations to the ballot paper. “Tell him that the Supreme Court is watching him,” CJI said. The bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra was hearing a petition filed by AAP Councillor Kuldeep Kumar (the defeated Mayor candidate) challenging the refusal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to stay the immediate election.

Issuing notice on Kumar’s petition, the Court directed the ensuing meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation scheduled on February 7 shall stand deferred. The Court ordered that the entire record of the Mayor election should be sequestered and be kept with the Punjab &Haryana High Court Registrar General and the ballots, and videography be preserved. The Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh UT, who has possession of the records at present, should hand over them to the HC Registrar General by today 5 PM.

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