SC refuses to intervene in EC action against Chavan

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the Delhi High Court order staying the Election Commission’s action against former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan for allegedly not giving correct expenses incurred in the 2009 Assembly elections but asked for expeditious disposal of the matter within 15 days.

Chavan challenged the EC show cause notice on why he should not be disqualified for failing to give correct expenses.

A bench of justices F M I Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh favoured the High Court to decide the question of law after Madhavrao Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan before the commission, contended that the High Court prima facie had not given reasons for staying the EC order.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for him submitted that it was not appropriate on the part of the High Court to entertain Chavan’s petition as the apex court had granted 45 days to the EC to examine the issues.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Mohan Parasaran and Salman Khurshid appeared for Chavan to oppose the appeal seeking vacation of the High Court order. The commission in its July 13, 2014, order had given Chavan, an MP from Nanded parliamentary seat, a 20-day deadline to respond to the show cause notice which was issued after the poll panel had found him guilty of failing to “lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the (Representation of the People) Act and Rules.”

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