Punjab and Haryana HC, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that there is no provision under the statute or election rules that torn votes, not in two pieces, should not be counted. There is no prohibition in counting such votes, the court said.

A division bench comprising Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Nidhi Gupta passed the orders while hearing a plea filed by Chandigarh’s AAP leader Anju Katyal who had unsuccessfully contested the municipal corporation (MC) mayoral elections held in January. Copies of the judgement were released on Wednesday evening.

On marking and writing of ballot papers, the court clarified any mark or writing which might possibly lead to identification of the voter, that vote should be held invalid. The main challenge in the petition was to the post of mayor. A total of 28 votes were found polled, out of which only one vote was found invalid, as there was a tick mark on the other side of the ballot paper.

Out of the 27 votes, petitioner Katyal secured 13 votes and Sarabjit Kaur 14 votes. As a result, Kaur was declared the winner. One vote which was found to be invalid was having a mark on it. The grievance of Katyal before the HC was that there was one vote, which was torn, and that vote was also counted.

In her plea, Katyal had sought directions to declare the elections held on January 8 as well as results declared on the same date to the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor of MC Chandigarh as illegal and ab-initio void.

While dismissing her plea, the court ordered the records deposited with the registrar, judicial, Punjab and Haryana high court, be returned to the joint commissioner-cum-secretary, MC, Chandigarh.


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