In this editorial segment, Mr. Sujit Nair discusses Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud’s comments on the Chandigarh Mayor Polls. The Supreme Court expressed concern over the conduct of the Presiding Officer during the elections, stating that it was evident that the ballot papers were defaced. CJI Chandrachud strongly criticized the behavior, calling it a mockery and murder of democracy, and suggested that the individual responsible should face prosecution. The Chief Justice, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, heard a petition filed by AAP Councillor Kuldeep Kumar, the defeated Mayor candidate, challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision not to stay the immediate election. The Supreme Court issued a notice on Kumar’s petition and deferred the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation meeting scheduled for February 7. The Court ordered the sequestration of the entire record of the Mayor election, directing it to be kept with the Punjab & Haryana High Court Registrar General. It also mandated the preservation of ballots and videography. The Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh was instructed to hand over the records to the HC Registrar General by 5 PM on the same day. Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the petitioner, alleged that a BJP candidate, serving as the Presiding Officer, intentionally defaced eight ballot papers of Congress-AAP councillors, rendering their votes invalid. Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta argued that the video presented a one-sided view and urged the Court to consider the entire records before making a comprehensive decision. Expressing dissatisfaction with the High Court’s approach, CJI Chandrachud criticized the failure to issue an appropriate interim order.
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