The Supreme Court on Tuesday completed the hearing in former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’s review petition in the 2014 poll affidavit case and reserved its judgment.
Fadnavis had moved the SC last month against its judgment on his previous plea that had quashed an order of the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench exonerating Fadnavis for not mentioning two criminal cases in his affidavit. The HC had given him relief by quashing a sessions court order finding merit in petitioner Satish Uke’s claim that Fadnavis ought to have mentioned the two cases dating back to 1996 and 1998.
On October 1, 2019, a bench led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had upheld the plea by Uke against Fadnavis’s exoneration by HC and had ordered retrial in the case.
Arguing on behalf of Fadnavis, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said that as per Section 33 A (1) of the Representation of People’s Act there was no requirement to furnish information regarding a criminal case unless charges had been framed by the HC. He added that mere taking cognizance by the court was not a reason to reveal the criminal case. Rohatgi sought a stay on the main judgment but the SC bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose didn’t grant it and reserved the judgment.
Uke had argued in his original plea that it was mandatory under Section 125 of the same Act to mention all criminal cases.
Meanwhile, the retrial as directed by the earlier SC order is on in a Nagpur court that had directed Fadnavis to personally attend the court. The latter, however, skipped appearance on four occasions citing different reasons. The next hearing is now slated for February 20. It remains to be seen if Fadnavis remains present then or not.
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