The Election Commission on Monday issued a show-cause notice to former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in a paid news case which. If proven guilty, Chavan may lose his seat and also be barred from fighting election for three years.
Empowered by a recent Supreme Court ruling to take corrective measures to tackle paid news, the poll panel has asked Chavan to appear before it on May 23. In 2010, Chavan had to step down from the CM's post in the wake of the Adarsh scam.
"Both Ashok Chavan and Madhu Koda have been asked to appear before the Commission. If the allegations are proved correct, a candidate can lose his seat and be disqualified for a period of three years from fighting an election," said Deputy Election Commissioner P K Dash.
Dismissing Chavan's petition questioning the Commission's authority to probe the allegations, the SC on May 5 had directed the poll panel to go ahead with the case as per Representation of People's Act.
Following Chavan's victory from Bhokar seat in Nanded in 2009, Madhav Kinhalkar, an independent candidate, had moved the Commission, accusing the former of hiding expenses on a 'paid' supplement titled Ashok Parva in a leading Marathi daily.
After the Commission took up the case, Chavan had approached the Delhi High Court, seeking a stay on the proceedings, but his request was rejected. He then moved the SC in November 2011.