Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday issued a show cause notice to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda for their alleged involvement in paid news cases.
The poll panel has asked Chavan to appear before it in connection with a ongoing case of alleged expenses made by him during the 2009 polls which were categorised as `paid news` asking him to attend the hearing here on May 23 "either in person or through his authorised representative or counsel".
The Supreme Court in a verdict on May 5, had dismissed Chavan`s petition questioning the Commission`s authority to inquire the allegations of paid news.
Chavan, in 2009 Assembly elections had won from Bhokar seat in Nanded. His opponent, independent candidate Madhav Kinhalkar, filed a complaint with the Election Commission, accusing him of hiding expenses on a ‘paid’ supplement titled Ashok Parva (The era of Ashok) in a leading Marathi daily.
However, the ex-chief minister and the daily’s management denied the allegation saying that the supplement was not a paid one.
The Election Commission probed into Kinhalkar’s allegations.
The Delhi High Court in 2010 declined Chavan’s plea seeking the stay of the Election Commission proceedings. He then moved the apex court in November 2011.
In the second case, the EC has asked Koda to appear in the hearing, either in person or through an authorised counsel, with regard to a case against him for allegedly furnishing false election expenditure records after the 2009 polls.
The EC`s action comes a week after the Supreme Court gave a free hand to the Commission to inquire into complaints of paid news or incorrect expenses against a political leader.
The EC, post complaints made against the two political leaders, had initiated disqualification procedures against them under the Representation of the People Act.
Both the leaders had challenged the EC`s action as they denied any wrongdoing.