New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday
concluded oral hearing on a case seeking to disqualify Ashok
Chavan as member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on the
"paid news component" of his poll campaign.
A complaint filed before the Election Commission by
Madhav Kinhalkar, an Independent candidate who lost the Bhokar
Assembly poll, challenged Chavan`s claim that he had spent
around Rs 11,000 on placing advertisements during his election
Chavan received coverage in newspapers with advertisements
in the garb of news, the complaint says.
The EC had issued notice to Chavan in January last year
in the case and the hearings had begun in July last year.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had also petitioned the
Commission on the issue.
Chavan`s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the
Commission had given 15 days for both the sides to make
written submissions following which it would decide on the
date of the verdict.
Singhvi also questioned the jurisdiction of the Election
Commission to inquire into the issue of paid news contending
that such charges should be inquired only by the High Court.
The EC places an expenditure ceiling of Rs 25 lakh per
candidate for Lok Sabha elections and Rs 10 lakh for state
Assembly elections. Candidates are required to submit election
expense reports thrice during the entire election period.