NEW DELHI: In a huge setback to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Supreme Court on Tuesday paved way for his prosecution for not disclosing two pending criminal cases in his 2014 affidavit.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi pronounced its verdict on a plea seeking prosecution of Fadnavis under the provisions of the Representation of the People (RP) Act for allegedly failing to furnish details of two pending criminal cases, in which the trial court had taken cognizance, in his election affidavit.
The case has been filed by Satish Ukey.
The bench set aside the Bombay High Court and a trial court order that gave clean chit to Fadnavis in the case and said, “the clean chit given to Fadnavis in the false affidavit case is untenable in law and hence we are quashing it.”
The court has also ordered the trial court to consider afresh the complaint filed by Uke now.
Ukey had contended that the chief minister filed a false affidavit by not disclosing the two criminal matters and yet the trial court and the high court held that there was no prima facie case to be made out for the chief minister's prosecution.
He had said that a candidate was under a mandatory legal obligation to disclose the details of all the cases, in which either charges have been framed or the trial court had taken cognizance, in the nomination papers.
The petitioner had alleged that Fadnavis, in his election affidavit filed in 2014, had failed to disclose the pendency of two criminal cases against him.
It was contended that the chief minister did not disclose the information as required of him under the election law and the non-disclosure of these cases was in violation of Section 125A of the RP Act and constituted an offence in itself.
The two cases of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998 but charges were not framed.