The Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) of Gujarat high court justice V M Sahai on Friday dismissed a criminal application seeking action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for filing a defective affidavit by concealing information about his marital status during 2012 assembly polls.
Justice Sahai who sat as single bench rejected the petition upholding the order of a sessions court that had dismissed the petition on the ground of delay in lodging the complaint. Justice Sahai held that there was delay in lodging a complaint and also the petitioner failed to plead in his application specifically that he acquired knowledge about the offence only in 2014. Justice Sahai said that law is settled that the court can’t work on assumption that the petitioner had no knowledge about the offence prier to 2014.
“Had you specifically mentioned that you came to know about the offence only in 2014 during the election, things would have been different. The law is settled that there can’t be improvement in the complaint once you register it,” justice Sahai told the petitioner’s lawyer KR Koshti. In the defence of Modi, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, Additional Advocate General PK Jani, Government Pleaders Mitesh Amin, Manisha Lavkumar and Additional Government Pleader RC Kodekar argued the case.
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In 2014 the petitioner Nishant Verma, a member of Aam Adami Party, had moved a magisterial court seeking action against Modi for filing an affidavit in 2012 which was detected defective during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. According to the petition during the polls Modi filed nomination from Vadodara constituency for contesting general election and in the affidavit Modi, for the first time, revealed his marital status and mentioned Jashodaben as his wife.
However, back in 2012 Modi, contesting state assembly election from Maninagar constituency, had left the space of spouse blank, which according to petitioner, amounts to concealing information and hence action should be taken against Modi under the provisions of Representation of People (RP) Act.
Soon after Modi’s affidavit in 2014 Verma had filed a criminal complaint in a magisterial court demanding an FIR to be lodged against Modi and P K Jadeja, election officer. The court rejected the complaint while stating that though an offence has been committed but cognizance can’t be taken since the complaint was lodged after a delay of one year and four months.