Chavan may face charges in paid news case today
The Election Commission (EC) is likely to frame charges against former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan on Friday in connection with the alleged ‘paid news’ and furnishing of ‘incorrect’ election accounts case against him.
Chavan, who recently won the Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket from Nanded, will be represented by a team of lawyers after he informed the Election Commission that his ‘authorised’ counsel will appear before the poll body in response to its summons issued to him last week.
‘Chavan has asked for framing of charges in this case by the Election Commission against him. The Election Commission will conduct a hearing in this regard on Friday in the presence of the former chief minister’s lawyers,’ sources privy to the development said.
A similar case of furnishing allegedly false election accounts by former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda has been postponed till 26 May, the sources said.
The Election Commission, on the directions of the Supreme Court, had issued a notice to Chavan last week to appear before it in connection with the case of alleged expenses made by him during the 2009 polls which were categorised as ‘paid news’.
The apex court had, in its earlier order, given a free hand to the Election Commission to inquire into complaints of ‘paid news’ or incorrect expenses against a political leader.
A bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik had dismissed the plea of Chavan challenging Election Commission’s jurisdiction to inquire into such issues.
The apex court had directed the Election Commission to inquire into the complaint against Chavan within 45 days.
The Election Commission, 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 Election Commission’s action as they denied any wrongdoing.