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SC reserves order on Devendra Fadnavis’ review petition

Devendra Fadnavis | File.

Devendra Fadnavis | File.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister was earlier directed to face trial for suppressing information.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its judgment on a review petition filed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis against its October 2019 verdict directing him to face trial for suppressing information about two pending forgery and criminal defamation cases in his 2014 election documents.

A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra, however, did not heed to a plea by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who argued for Mr. Fadnavis, for stay of the trial court proceedings.

Also read: SC to hear in open court Fadnavis’ review plea in poll case

Mr. Rohatgi argued that there was no concealment of information and charges had not yet been framed at the time of filing poll documents. Mr. Fadnavis said the October 2019 saw far-reaching consequences in his political graph.

The apex court verdict of October 1 last year was delivered by a Bench of then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose. The judgment had directed a Nagpur court to continue with the trial against Mr. Fadnavis under Section125-A of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951.

The decision had come in an appeal filed by Satish Ukey, a lawyer, against a Bombay High Court decision. The High Court had set aside a Sessions Court go-ahead to try Mr. Fadnavis for violation of the RP Act.

The judgment by Chief Justice Gogoi had held that a “contesting candidate is mandated to furnish information concerning the cases in which a Competent Court has taken cognisance along with the cases in which charges have been framed”.

The apex court interpreted Section 33-A of the 1951 Act to hold that ‘information’ to be disclosed by a candidate includes cases of which a court has already taken cognisance.

On Tuesday, Mr. Rohatgi argued that Section 33A was wrongly involved in his case.

The apex court held that the election affidavit under Form 26 of the Conduct of Election Rules of 1961, submitted to the poll officer along with the nomination papers, should have details not only cases in which charges had been filed but also those which had been taken cognisance too.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 3:13:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sc-reserves-verdict-on-devendra-fadnavis-plea-to-review-order-asking-him-to-face-trial/article30849665.ece

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