Giving relief to former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in the paid news case, the Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the Election Commission’s showcause notice asking him why he should not be disqualified for failing to give his correct expenses incurred during the 2009 Assembly polls in the state.
The commission in its July 13, 2014 order had given the Nanded MP a 20-day deadline to respond to the showcause notice which was issued after the poll panel 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.”
The court of Justice Suresh Kait also issued notice to BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kirit Somaiya and independent candidate Madhavrao Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan before the EC.
The court brushed aside the contention of senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for one complainant, that the poll panel’s order not be stayed as it would “frustrate” the Supreme Court’s May 5 order, in which directed that the complaint regarding Chavan be decided within 45 days.
“I will justify it,” Justice Kait said, adding that “admittedly EC did not pass its order within 45 days”.
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Chavan, in his petition, has sought that the EC’s July 13 order be set aside to the extent that it holds that he failed to lodge the poll expense account in the time and manner required under the law.