Devendra Fadnavis to face trial for ‘not declaring’ criminal cases in poll affidavit: SC
New Delhi: In a severe jolt to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis just 20 days before his state goes to the elect a new Assembly, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, set aside the Bombay High Court order and directed the BJP leader to face trial for allegedly failing to provide details of two pending criminal cases in his election affidavit of 2014.
A two-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi held that a case has been made out for prosecution of Fadnanvis.
Elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha are due to be held on October 21.
On July 23, the top court, while reserving the verdict, had said that the alleged “omission” by Fadnavis of not disclosing information about two criminal cases in his election affidavit in the 2014 Assembly polls may be decided in the trial.
The apex court directed the trial court to hear the case afresh, filed by lawyer Satish Ukey. The petitioner had challenged his election on the ground that Fadnavis had not disclosed details of two criminal cases against him while filing his nomination in 2014. The two cases date back to 1996 and 2003.
The petitioner had said the non-disclosure violated Section 125-A of the Representation of the People Act. Under this section, if a candidate or his proposer fails to furnish or gives false information or conceals it on issues like pending criminal cases, in the nomination paper, then the person may be awarded six months jail term or fine or both.
The trial court had said in its order that it would not entertain the petition. The Bombay HC, in its order of May 3, 2018, upheld the trial court’s order.