SC Issues Notice To Maharashtra CM Fadnavis For Not Declaring Criminal Cases In Election Affidavit
The Logical Indian Crew Maharashtra
December 16th, 2018 / 4:21 PM
Image Credit: The Indian Express
On December 13, Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly hiding criminal cases filed against him in his 2014 election affidavit. The top court order came while hearing a petition seeking Fadnavis’s disqualification as a legislator for concealing the cases. Following the court’s order, a response from the minister’s office came which said that Fadnavis would shortly file an appropriate response to the Supreme Court’s notice.
According to the NDTV, the petition on Fadnavis’s alleged criminal cases was filed by lawyer Satish Ukey. The petitioner has alleged that Fadnavis had not disclosed the two cases-cheating and defamation- which are pending against him in the 2014 election affidavit, which violates the provisions of the Representation of the People’s Act 1951.
The top court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph in its notice order has asked, a response from the CM on a plea filed against him in a Bombay high court order.
In September 2015, Ukey had first filed a plea in the court of Judicial Magistrate in Nagpur challenging Fadnavis’s election, but the plea was dismissed by the court. Post that he moved to the Sessions Court, which directed the Judicial Magistrate to reconsider its decision. However, the Chief Minister Fadnavis appealed in the Bombay High Court challenging the Sessions Court order, which then dismissed the petition. Ukey then went to the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s decision.
While appearing for the petitioner, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal said that the CM didn’t “disclose details of the pending cases against him, and as per the law it is an offence”.
Post the Supreme Court’s order, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that the minister will file an appropriate response to the Supreme Court’s notice.
It also said, “Mr Fadnavis had filed all details about cases against him in the election affidavit in 2014. The petitioner had moved the high court which dismissed the case calling it baseless.”
The BJP legislator from Nagpur South West constituency, Fadanavis, became Maharastra CM on October 31, 2014. He is the second youngest Chief Minister of Maharashtra after Sharad Pawar, as reported by the NDTV.
22 criminal cases against him
According to Fadnavis’ nomination on myneta.info, the Maharashtra CM has a total of 22 criminal cases registered against him. These charges include abetment of such assault, if the assault is committed, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, being part of an unlawful assembly, rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent,as reported by The Indian Express.
The opposition parties have criticised Fadnavis for allegedly concealing the criminal cases against him. NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said that the chief minister talks about morality and transparency but he “hid two cases involving him”. He says that this shows how transparent CM is in his governance, The Wire reported.
“He has lost the moral right to stay on the chief minister’s post. The Supreme Court will disqualify his election whenever it does. We demand him to immediately step down from his post,” Malik said. Meanwhile, All India Congress Committee secretary from Maharashtra, Ashish Dua said that BJP leaders are taking a cover under “opacity, untruth & arrogance”.
Earlier, a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), had indicated that 35% of India’s chief ministers faced criminal cases. The report said, “Out of the all 31 chief ministers analyzed from state assemblies and Union territories, 11 (35 %) chief ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves.”
Written by : Ridhima Gupta
Edited by : Shraddha Goled