SC issues notice to Fadnavis on plea against his election

Devendra Fadnavis

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday issued notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on a plea seeking annulment of his election to the state assembly for alleged non-disclosure of pending criminal cases against him in the nomination papers.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph sought response of the chief minister on an appeal filed against a Bombay High Court order.

The Bombay High Court had dismissed the plea of one Satish Ukey seeking annulment of Fadanavis’s election to the Maharashtra Assembly on the ground of alleged non-disclosure of all pending criminal cases against him.

The apex court was hearing an appeal of Ukey against the high court order. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that Fadnavis in his election affidavit filed in 2014, had failed to disclose the pendency of two criminal cases against him.

It was contended that the Chief Minister did not disclose the information as required of him under the election law and the non-disclosure of these two pending criminal cases was in violation of Section 125A of the Representation of People’s Act of 1951 and constituted an offence in itself.

The two cases of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998 but charges have not been framed.