The case related to alleged election code violation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was today transferred to the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Ahmedabad Rural Court here, from the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM).
ACJM MM Sheikh had written a letter on August 22 to CJM UM Bhatt of Ahmedabad Rural Court, seeking his decision on which court would have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
Sheikh pointed out that the original case related to the issue was heard by Ahmedabad City Metropolitan Court. "As the proceeding of the case was conducted under the jurisdiction of Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court, so this is my humble request to pass an order to decide jurisdiction," he had said.
CJM Bhatt today told advocate K R Koshti, lawyer of the applicant Nishant Verma, that he would be hearing the case from now on. Koshti requested the court to direct the city crime branch to provide report on the FIR it had registered on the directives of the Election Commission.
He also sought a written order on transfer of the case. After hearing the submissions, the court posted the further hearing to September 3.
Verma moved ACGM Sheikh's court after police declined to add some charges to the FIR against Modi for showing party symbol on the polling day.
On April 30 this year, when the voting was underway for 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, Modi addressed a press conference after casting his vote at a school in Ranip area here and allegedly displayed his party's symbol, lotus.
On the directives of the Election Commission, crime branch lodged an FIR against Modi on the same day, for holding a public meeting when voting is underway (under Representation Of The People Act), for violating election notification (under IPC), and also under the Criminal Procedure Code for `four or more persons coming together' when prohibitive orders are in force.
However crime branch filed a closure report before the metropolitan court on August 8, giving a clean chit to Modi. On August 22 Metropolitan Magistrate MH Patel accepted the report.
Verma, in his complaint to police, had demanded that Modi be additionally charged under sections section 130 of RPA and IPC sections 114, 171 (c) and (f). But police declined.
According to section 130 of the RP Act, a person is prohibited from canvassing or exhibiting any notice or signs relating to the election within the polling station on the day of polls. IPC section 114 is about for the role of abettor(s).
Section 171(c) is about `undue influence at election' by interfering in free exercise of electoral rights. Section 171(f) prescribes imprisonment of upto one year or fine, or both, for the offence.