Regulators

Delhi High Court stays EC's paid news notice to Ashok Chavan

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NEW DELHI: Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan has received an interim relief with Delhi High Court putting a stay on the show cause notice issued by the Election Commission to the Congress politician.

The Court also issued notice to BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kirit Somaiya and one independent candidate who had filed complaint against Chavan to the EC.

The poll panel in the notice on 13 July had asked Chavan who had stood from Nanded in Maharashtra as to why he should not be disqualified for not giving correct details of his 2009 poll expenses.

A fortnight ago, the Commission had set a 20-day deadline for Chavan to respond to the notice, saying he had "failed to lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the (Representation of the People) Act and rules."

Chavan had moved the court against the EC’s order, saying the panel had not followed the procedure laid out in the Representation of People Act prior to giving its findings.

He had also said that the expenses that he had allegedly not declared pertained to some advertisements that were released in October 2009 regarding a meeting that was to be held between the members of United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Chavan and argued that the ex-CM did not know who had issued the advertisements.

Chavan had won the 2009 assembly election from Bhokar in Maharashtra’s Nanded Lok Sabha constituency. He won the recent Lok Sabha polls from Nanded.

It was contended that Chavan had incurred an expense of over Rs 16,000 for attending the UPA meeting that was advertised and that he had cited the same while filing his poll spends.

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