Reacting to the Supreme Court’s strong remark on Chandigarh Mayoral polls that the civic poll officer was “murdering democracy”, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that taking cognizance is not the only thing, let’s wait for the next step of the apex court.
“What happens by taking cognizance? Cognizance was taken in Maharashtra too.
The murder of democracy first happened in Maharashtra. What did the Supreme Court do? The Assembly Speaker did not listen to it (SC) and made a wrong decision and established an unconstitutional government, now we will see what the Supreme Court is going to do next,” Raut told.
The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the civic poll officer who held the Chandigarh Mayor elections and said that it is obvious that the Returning Officer has “defaced” the ballot papers.
The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Returning Officer, saying he was “murdering democracy” and ordered the preservation of the entire record of the election process, including ballot papers, videography and other material, through the Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
In the Mayor polls, the BJP’s Manoj Sonkar defeated the AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar by four votes, after the AAP’s eight votes were declared “invalid” without cause.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said it was obvious that the returning officer had defaced the ballot papers.
“Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is the murder of democracy. We are appalled. We will not allow democracy to be murdered this way. The man defaces ballots the moment he sees a cross at the bottom. This man should be prosecuted. Is this the behaviour of the returning officer?”, the bench said.
It directed that the meeting of the Chandigarh Corporation slated to be held on February 7 be deferred till further orders.
The top court also issued notice on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party’s councillor Kuldeep Dhalor, who had lost the mayor election to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manoj Sonkar on January 30.
The apex court’s remarks came while hearing the plea of AAP’s councillor after the BJP won the mayoral election following the Returning Officer’s move to scrape eight opposition votes.
BJP’s Sonkar bagged 16 votes against the 12 votes received by Kumar, despite having 20 councillors. The action of rejecting eight votes of the AAP-Congress alliance as invalid had sparked allegations of vote tempering.
The AAP councillor challenged a Punjab and Haryana High Court order that refused to grant any interim relief to the party seeking fresh mayoral polls in Chandigarh.
Kuldeep Kumar, who lost the Chandigarh mayoral election, approached the apex court against the High Court’s refusal to grant an immediate stay on the election result in which the BJP candidate was declared the mayor.