Chandigarh Mayoral Poll Returning Officer Anil Masih Tenders Unconditional Apology To SC

New Delhi: Anil Masih, the returning officer for the Chandigarh mayoral election, has tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for his actions. The court had previously overturned the election result in February, citing his alleged misconduct.

Masih faced criticism and a court-ordered criminal prosecution for purportedly making false statements and misconduct during the vote-counting process. He now intends to retract his previous affidavit, which denied tampering with the ballots and cited depression and anxiety.

In his apology, Masih highlighted the mental trauma caused by media coverage and online criticism following the leaked video of the election process. The Supreme Court, in February, declared Kuldeep Kumar as the new mayor, nullifying the January 30 election result, alleging Masih’s interference with eight ballot papers.

Masih’s legal representative, Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, presented the apology as completely unconditional, urging withdrawal of the initial affidavit. However, Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Kumar, opposed the apology.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, adjourned the proceedings until July 23 for further consideration. Masih, a nominated BJP member, is now facing criminal proceedings under section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for allegedly making false statements regarding the invalidity of the ballots.

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