"Little Entertainment...": Chief Justice's Comic Relief During Big Hearing

The video, which has earlier drawn strong observations from Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, was replayed in the Supreme Court today

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India News Reported by , Edited by
New Delhi:

The replay of the much-talked about video from Chandigarh mayoral polls provided some comic relief in Supreme Court today amid heated arguments and strong observations by the bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

The video, which has earlier drawn strong observations from the Chief Justice, was replayed in the court today after the bench examined ballot papers that were declared invalid during the January 30 election. As the video was played, the Chief Justice quipped, "Let all of them see the video. A little entertainment is good for everybody!" He also said that the petitioners have already specified the relevant part of the video and the entire clip need not be replayed. "Otherwise all of us will be here till 5.45," he laughed.

Earlier, the Chief Justice pulled up the returning officer for the election, Anil Masih, who was caught on camera marking ballot papers after the vote. Mr Masih had declared as invalid eight votes in support of the AAP mayoral candidate. This ensured the victory of the BJP nominee, even though the party had lesser votes than the AAP-Congress combine. The Supreme Court has pulled up the officer and indicated that it may order a recount of votes, with those invalidated counted as valid. This is likely to overturn the result of the election.

The Supreme Court's remarks came in the wake of three AAP councillors switching to the BJP. This means that in the case of a re-election, the BJP now has an edge over the AAP-Congress alliance. The court also noted after the switchovers that horsetrading is a serious matter.

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Yesterday, the Chief Justice had grilled the poll officer, questioning his actions caught on camera. Mr Masih had then claimed that he invalidated some ballot papers because they had been defaced. This afternoon, the court examined the ballot papers and said they had not been defaced. It said Mr Masih had misled the court. Earlier, the Chief Justice had said the poll officer must be prosecuted for tampering with the ballot papers.

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