Supreme Court Orders Recount of Chandigarh Mayor Poll, 8 Invalidated Votes to be Counted

New Delhi: Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on Tuesday announced that the Supreme Court will oversee a recount of votes from the recent Chandigarh mayoral election. This decision comes after eight ballots, all in favor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), were deemed “invalid” by the Returning Officer, Anil Masih, who was captured on camera ‘marking’ those ballots.

During Tuesday’s hearing, a bench led by the Chief Justice scrutinized the disputed ballots and criticized Masih for his actions. Masih claimed he marked the papers because they were “defaced,” but upon examination, it was found that all eight ballots were stamped for the AAP candidate, Kuldeep Kumar, with Masih adding a single line on each.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Kumar, condemned Masih’s actions, stating it amounted to “contempt of court.” The controversy arose after a video surfaced showing Masih marking the ballots.

The BJP’s Manoj Sonkar was declared the winner with 16 votes against Kumar’s 12. However, if the eight disputed votes were counted, Kumar would have won comfortably. The video of Masih marking the ballots triggered criticism from the AAP and Congress.

With three AAP councillors now supporting the BJP, the balance of power has shifted. The BJP currently holds 19 votes in the 35-member house, while the AAP-Congress alliance has 17. If a re-election is ordered, the BJP is poised to win easily, as sought by Sonkar.

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