Dismissing Ashok Chavan's plea, the Supreme Court, today, stated that the Election Commission has the power to disqualify poll candidates for wrong declaration of election expenses.
In a landmark judgement, the apex court, has now directed Election Commission to complete its probe against Chavan within 45 days in related poll expense case. A bench of Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said this while dismissing a plea by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan.
Having held that EC can inquire into the allegation, the court dismissed the plea by Chavan who had challenged the Delhi High Court order, holding that the commission can inquire into the allegations of paid news if same was not disclosed by the candidate in his election expanses returns.
The case pertains to a complaint filed by BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Madhavrao Kinhalkar, Kirti Somaiya and four others regarding publication of advertisements in various newspapers during the election campaign period for the Maharashtra Assembly held in September-October 2009, in the garb of news eulogising him and his achievements as chief minister.
The complaint alleged that Chavan had showed just Rs5,379 as the expenses on newspaper advertisements in his accounts filed before the commission. In the complaint filed on November 2009, it was specifically prayed to investigate the account of election expenses of Chavan under Section 10 A of the Peoples' Representation Act 1951.