Updated: August 9, 2018 7:32:01 pm
A Delhi court has absolved Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of charges of giving false information in an affidavit filed in run up to 2013 assembly polls.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal discharged Kejriwal in the case saying “merely due to the fact that a person has other residential addresses apart from where he has enrolled himself as a voter, cannot be a ground to presume that he is not a resident of that place from where he registered as a voter”.
It was alleged in the complaint that Kejriwal had filed a “false affidavit” along with his nomination papers before the Election Commission on November 16, 2013 for contesting the 2013-Delhi assembly election.
The criminal complaint filed by Neeraj Saxena on behalf of the NGO, Maulik Bharat Trust, had alleged that Kejriwal had concealed his correct address and suppressed the market value of his property in his affidavit given before the Election Commission.
It was alleged that the AAP leader had falsely given the address of Delhi so as to qualify for contesting the polls in the capital while he was living at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
In its order, the court said that there was no evidence that the accused was not residing at the address given in his voting identity card.
“A place of resident is a place where a person ordinarily reside. This may or may not be his permanent address. Therefore, it cannot be said that by registering himself at this address 41, Bunglow, Hanuman Road, New Delhi- 110001 the accused has committed the offence of making any false declaration for the purpose of inclusion of his name in electoral roll…,” it said.
It further noted that the Election Commission had not take any action in this case despite the fact that the complainant had brought the issue to its notice.
“The accused has been summoned only for the aforesaid alleged misinformation. The aforesaid discussion shows that these offences are not made out. Therefore, the accused is discharged from this case,” it said.
A Delhi court had on March 22, 2016 summoned Kejriwal as accused in the case, saying he had prima facie “wilfully concealed” and “suppressed” the details.
The offence under section 125-A of the Representation of People Act, under which the complainant had sought Kejriwal’s prosecution, entails a punishment of six months’ imprisonment and/or fine or both.
Earlier, the NGO had approached Delhi High Court with a plea seeking quashing of Kejriwal’s nomination papers on the grounds of “illegalities” in his affidavit.
The high court had refused to entertain the plea and directed the petitioners to approach a magisterial court for remedy.
The NGO in its petition before high court had alleged that Kejriwal violated provisions of the RP Act by submitting an affidavit which had incorrect details of his assets and income at the time of the filing of nomination.
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