Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said on Monday that he was willing to present his case in the “paid news” matter on “merits” before the Election Commission.

He was reacting to the Supreme Court verdict on Monday which dismissed his petition questioning the Commission’s authority to inquire into the allegations of paid news.

“The verdict is on the petition filed which questioned the authority of Election Commission and not on the paid news case,” Mr. Chavan told reporters in his hometown Nanded after the verdict.

“We will present our case based on merits. We hadn’t got the opportunity to present our side in front of the election commission. I am sure that we will get the fair verdict,” he said.

BJP leader and one of the complainants in the case, Kirit Somaiya too welcomed the decision of the apex court. “It’s a matter of 45 days now and I have all the evidence ready with me to present it to the EC,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Chavan has contested the election from Nanded in Maharashtra. If he wins the election and is then found guilty, he will be disqualified immediately as a parliamentarian and barred from contesting elections for three years.

Mr. Somaiya said that since he had taken the initiative to complain in the case he would ensure that it reaches its logical end. “Mr. Chavan will not be able to contest any election for three years after the EC verdict for sure,” he said.