The reputation of Birmingham City Council chief executive Lin Homer was defended yesterday during the court hearing into alleged vote rigging in last year's local elections.
The defence came on the second day of the civil trial in Birmingham into claims that election fraud took place in the Bordesley Green ward.
It followed allegations made in court previously that Ms Homer had failed in her duty as returning officer to ensure the election was legal.
A petition by the Kashmiri-led People's Justice Party contends three Labour councillors and their agents forged and altered as many as 3,000 postal ballot papers to secure election.
Three postal ballot boxes mysteriously appeared during the count at the National Indoor Arena on June 11, all containing votes for Labour candidates in Bordesley Green.
The court heard how Ms Homer and her election officer John Owen decided, after discussion, to include the contested boxes in the count.
Philip Coppel, counsel for Ms Homer, said: "There is no doubt in the returning officer's mind that they made the right decision. They made the decision at that point in time when they felt they had the information to make the right decision."
Mr Coppel added: "There was nothing indicating to Ms Homer or Mr Owen that there was any issue with the contents of the box."
Mr Coppel claimed the "innuendo" that they had been "secreted into the count by Labour Party supporters is simply untenable".
"I will give evidence that the postal ballots were kept in secure conditions at all times," he said.
"The notion that they were found in the count is simply incorrect."
However Richard Mawrey QC, the deputy High Court judge presiding over the hearing at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, said: "There is no doubt that the circumstances in which these boxes appeared was such as to cause a major row at the time.
"One can't simply brush it under the carpet and say they are making a fuss about nothing."
Mr Mawrey stressed the seriousness of allegations that up to 1,700 votes had been fraudulently marked in Labour's favour.
"If 1,500 votes were improperly admitted and were all Labour votes, that would immediately de-select the Labour candidates," he said.
The three Labour councillors at the centre of the trial - Shafaq Ahmed, Shah Jahan and Ayaz Khan - have denied any wrongdoing but refused to take part in the proceedings. The Labour Party last week announced it had withdrawn its legal support.
The allegations include the use of false addresses, multiple witnessing of ballot papers and forging signatures.