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AAP's Kuldeep Kumar Declared Chandigarh Mayor Poll Winner After SC Gets Recounting Done

The top court ordered the recounting of votes, saying the eight marked votes will be considered "valid." The Supreme Court took into note that all invalidated eight ballots have votes cast in favour of the AAP Mayor Candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

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PTI
Chandigarh: AAP's Chandigarh mayor candidate Kuldeep Kumar breaks down after results of mayoral polls were announced, in Chandigarh, Monday, Jan. 30, 2024 | Photo: PTI
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In big win for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its candidate Kuldeep Kumar declared as the winner of the Chandigarh mayor election on Tuesday by the Supreme Court after it examined the ballot papers and video recording of the counting of the poll, votes of which residing officer Anil Masih on Monday admitted to having tampered with.

The top court ordered the recounting of votes, saying the eight marked votes will be considered "valid." Results will be declared based on the recount, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday. The Supreme Court took into note that all invalidated eight ballots have votes cast in favour of the AAP Mayor Candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

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Voicing its deep concern over "horse-trading", the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra had on Monday directed the registrar general of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to depute a judicial officer to bring the records safely to New Delhi and present them before it on Tuesday.

"We are deeply concerned about the horse-trading which is taking place," the bench had said.

Chandigarh Mayor Elections | Key Updates

-AAP's Kuldeep Kumar Declared Winner After Recounting: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar as winner and Mayor of union territory of Chandigarh after votes were recounted.

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The top court also ordered prosecution of returning officer Anil Masih for misdemeanour. Masih had on Monday admitted to tampering ballots, which led to BJP's victory in the January 30 poll.

"It is evident that presiding officer made a deliberate attempt to deface 8 ballot papers," the Supreme Court said.

SC Orders Recounting, Says 8 Marked Votes Valid: The Supreme Court, after examining the ballots and the video of counting of the Chandigarh mayor poll directed recounting, saying that the eight marked votes will be considered valid.

Supreme Court took into note that all invalidated eight ballots have votes cast in favour of the AAP Mayor Candidate Kuldeep Kumar, who had lost to BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar in the January 30 Chanigarh mayoral election

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-SC Examines Ballot Papers, Counting Video: Judicial officer appointed by Punjab & Haryana High Court produced records including ballot papers in Supreme Court on Tuesday. The Supreme Court said on Monday that ballot papers of the Chandigarh mayor polls and the video of counting need to be produced by 2 pm on Tuesday.

Supreme Court remarked that Anil Masih, returning officer in Chandigarh Mayor election, has to be prosecuted as he was interfering with the election process. The top court, which was hearing a plea challenging the Chandigarh mayor election, proposed that the results be declared by counting the present ballot papers, disregarding the marks made by returning officer, instead of a fresh election.

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-Anil Masih Admits Tampering Ballots: In a major development in the Chandigarh mayor election row, the Supreme Court ordered prosecution of returning officer Anil Masih after he admitted tampering ballots, an allegation AAP and Congress had made after BJP swept the election on January 30 and videos of Masih suspiciously scribbling on ballot papers went viral.

-What Was Row About In Chandigarh Mayor Poll: In a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance and INDIA bloc, the BJP on January 30 had swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls, retaining all the three posts. The Congress and the AAP had alleged tampering with ballot papers by the presiding officer.

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Manoj Sonkar of the BJP had defeated AAP's Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor's post, polling 16 votes against his rival's 12. Eight votes were declared invalid.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), after the poll result, had cited a video that purportedly showed presiding officer Anil Masih making some marks on some ballots.

The AAP leader had contended the alliance had 20 votes in the civic body as against 16 of the BJP and that eight ballots of the alliance were rendered invalid by defacing them.

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