Action against Maha CM: SC reserves judgement on plea

Action against Maha CM: SC reserves judgement on plea

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. (PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its judgment on a plea for action against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, for not disclosing all criminal cases pending against him in his affidavit filed along with his nomination papers for election as an MLA from southwest Nagpur constituency.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose wrapped up hearing on the petition filed by advocate Satish Uke.

Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, who argued for Uke, contended the CM did not disclose two cases in which cognisance was already taken and that amounted to corrupt practice.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Fadnavis, however, read out the provisions of the law to maintain there was no such requirement to disclose those two cases, which could be termed as a “genuine mistake”.

On this, the court orally observed that this could be decided in trial court.

The petitioner said Fadnavis had filed an affidavit in Form 26 on September 26, 2014, in which he concealed two pending criminal cases in which the court had already taken cognisance.

The concealment of information to the election observer and the returning officer amounted to an offence under Section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951. However, no action was taken despite it having been brought to the notice of the authorities, he said.

The petitioner also claimed as per the Election Commission's clarification issued on September 26, 2012, details of all pending cases in which cognisance has been taken by a court has to be disclosed, irrespective of quantum of punishment or framing of charges.

The advocate challenged the validity of an order by the Bombay High Court passed on May 3, 2018 rejecting his plea for action against Fadnavis.