Fadnavis seeks review of 2019 verdict, Top Court reserves order
New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis Tuesday requested the Supreme Court to reconsider its verdict asking him to face trial for allegedly failing to furnish details of two pending criminal cases against him in his 2014 poll affidavit saying it will have "far reaching consequences" for candidates.
While seeking review of the 2019 verdict, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Fadnavis, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that there was a "clear error" in the apex court's judgement as the law stipulates for disclosure of details about criminal cases only if charges are framed and on conviction.
"I (Fadnavis) had not withheld any information about charges being framed against me or about conviction," Rohatgi told the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose.
He said the allegation against Fadnavis is that he had not disclosed in his poll affidavit about a case where cognisance was taken by the court.
"It is a matter which requires consideration. I (Fadnavis) am being prosecuted for not disclosing a case where cognisance was taken but the law talks about twin conditions only that I have to disclose information about cases where charges are framed or where there is conviction," Rohatgi told the bench, which reserved its order on the review plea.
In its October 1, 2019 judgment, the apex court had set aside the Bombay High Court order which gave a clean chit to Fadnavis and held that he did not deserve to be tried for the alleged offence under the Representation of Peoples Act (RPA).
The verdict had come on an appeal by one Satish Ukey, who had challenged the high court's order.
During the arguments on Tuesday, Rohatgi said, "This will have a very, very far reaching consequence. It has to be heard. I can be prosecuted for violating the twin conditions only".
"This will seal my fate. It is an important question as it affects Article 21. This is a matter which requires a re-look," he told the bench. However, the bench said, "The offence is bailable. What is the problem? We are not sealing your fate. We will keep the question of law open".
The bench observed that Fadnavis had the knowledge about cognisance being
taken by court on a complaint against him.