Framing five specific charges against former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in the alleged “paid news” case against him, the Election Commission of India on Friday adjourned the hearing into the case till June 9.
Following the framing of the charges, the EC asked the complainants in the case to furnish all their evidence “in the form of affidavits” to the poll panel by June 4. Chavan has also been asked to produce evidence “in rebuttal” of the evidence produced by the complainants by June 9.
Chavan has been elected to Lok Sabha from Nanded this time and could face disqualification in case charges for having allegedly given incorrect accounts of his poll expenses (not disclosing money spent on paid news) during the 2009 state assembly polls are proven.
The most important charge framed against Chavan is that whether he is liable to be disqualified for a three-year period for having violated Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, read with section 77 & 78.
Following the Supreme Court’s recent directions, the EC had recently issued a notice to Chavan to appear before it in connection with the case. The apex court had stated that EC had full powers to inquire into complaints of ‘paid news’ or incorrect expenses against a political leader.