Newly elected MLA faces charge of hiding FIR

Even before he takes oath in the Assembly, a newly elected MLA is facing an allegation of hiding an FIR against him in his election affidavit.

Activist Pravin Wategaonkar on Thursday filed a petition with the State Chief Electoral Officer, demanding that the election of Shyamsundar Shinde be declared void. Mr. Shinde, the lone MLA of the Peasants and Workers Party, was elected from Loha in Nanded district. He extended support to the Bharatiya Janata Party after the results.

He is a former bureaucrat and CEO of MHADA, and said he has submitted all the information sought in the nomination form. He said he has already taken legal opinion on the matter, and was informed he has made no mistake.

Mr. Wategaonkar has claimed the MLA was named in an FIR around nine years ago regarding the conversion of a MHADA plot in Mumbai’s Oshiwara area from residential to commercial use. The process was initiated under Mr. Shinde’s tenure and allegedly violates the law. The FIR also mentions former NCP MP Sameer Bhujbal and former MLA Pankaj Bhujbal, along with 14 others.

“I have filed the petition that Mr. Shinde has violated the Representation of the People Act, 1951. He should have mentioned the FIR in his affidavit as he was aware about it,” the activist said. He said the petition also seeks criminal prosecution of the MLA for filing a false affidavit.

Mr. Shinde told The Hindu he filed the affidavit as per the requirements of the nomination form. “The information was sought regarding whether a charge sheet has been filed against me, whether charges have been framed and whether the court has taken the cognisance. I have given all this information. Had I filed wrong affidavits, my nomination would have been cancelled before the election,” he said.

He claimed he has already got a stay over the FIR from the Bombay High Court and had even written to the State Law and Judiciary Department.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 5:49:33 AM |

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