The returning officer of T Kallupatti, a town in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, told the Madras High Court on Monday that he was forced to change the result of a local body poll in favour of a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate under “immense pressure” from the cadre of the ruling party, reported The Hindu.

In the results declared on February 22, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had won all the 21 municipal corporations in the Tamil Nadu urban local body polls.

On Monday, a bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy directed the election officer to file an affidavit by March 18 mentioning the names of those who put pressure on him, according to The Times of India.

The High Court also directed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate, K Subbulakshmi, to file a counter affidavit.

Independent candidate R Palaniselvi, who contested from ward number 10 of T Kallupattti town, had filed a petition in Madras High Court stating that she and Subbulakshmi had received 284 votes each in the civic body elections held on February 19, according to The Times of India.

As is the procedure in case of a tie, the returning officer drew lots and declared Palaniselvi the winner, the petition stated. Palaniselvi told the court that she had been listed as the winner on the state Election Commission’s website as well.

The result was illegally modified later to declare Subbulakshmi the winner, she alleged in the petition.

Palaniselvi also submitted video recordings which the returning officer could be seen declaring Palaniselvi the winner and then changing it later. The High Court said it was clear from the videos that election result had been altered, according to The Times of India.

The state Election Commission told the court on Monday that Palaniselvi has been declared the winner and that the returning officer has been suspended. An inquiry has also been ordered, according to the state poll body.

The High Court said it would pass final orders in the case on March 18, the next date of hearing.