Delhi HC to hear Chavan`s plea against EC order from August 25

Last Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 19:17

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has decided to hear on a regular basis from August 25 former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan`s plea against the Election Commission`s show cause notice to him for allegedly not filing correct poll expenses.

Justice Suresh Kait listed the matter for regular hearing in view of the Supreme Court`s August 13 order directing the high court to dispose of the matter within 15 days.

"In view of the Supreme Court`s order of August 13, 2014, list the matter for regular hearing from August 25," said the court, which had earlier listed the matter for hearing on November 5.

The apex court`s order was placed before the high court by advocates appearing on behalf of Chavan as well as the complainants on whose complaint the poll panel had issued the show cause notice.
The Supreme Court had passed the order while refusing to interfere with the high court`s July 28 decision staying the the show cause notice issued to Chavan on July 13.

In its show cause notice, the poll panel had asked Chavan why he should not be disqualified for failing to give his true and correct expenses incurred in last Assembly polls.

The apex court had said it was not in favour of the matter dragging and wanted that the high court should decide the question of law.

Madhavrao Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan in the commission, had submitted before the apex court that "prima facie the high court has not given reasons for staying the EC order".

His counsel had also submitted that it was not appropriate on the part of the high court to entertain Chavan`s petition as the apex court had granted 45 days to the high court to examine the issues.

The commission in its July 13 order had given Chavan, an MP from Nanded parliamentary seat, a 20-day deadline to respond to the show cause notice which was issued after the poll panel had found him guilty of failing to "lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the (Representation of the People) Act and Rules".
While staying the EC order, the high court had also issued notice to BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kirit Somaiya along with Independent candidate Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan in the commission.

Chavan has contended in his plea, filed through advocate Abhimanyue Bhandari, before the high court that he had mentioned all the correct poll expenses and had incurred an expenditure of Rs 6.85 lakh in the 2009 Assembly elections.

He had pleaded that the July 13 order of EC be set aside to the extent that it holds that he had failed to lodge the poll expense account in the time and manner required under the law. He also sought quashing of the show cause notice.

The former chief minister had also contended that the commission has not followed the procedure laid out in the Representation of the People Act prior to giving its findings, as no opportunity to file a revised poll expenses was provided to him.

On July 25, the commission had told the high court that being a quasi-judicial body, it will not defend its order passed against Chavan.

Pursuant to this submission, the court had deleted the poll panel from the list of parties in the case.

Chavan had won the 2009 Assembly Elections from Bhokar constituency and Kinhalkar was one of the unsuccessful candidates from there.


First Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 19:17

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