EC can inquire into paid news allegations, says SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court said, on Monday, the Election Commission (EC) was empowered to inquire into allegations of paid news if the expenses for the same are not being reflected in the election return filed by the candidate.
The apex court bench of Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said this while dismissing a plea by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan.
Having held that the EC can inquire into the allegation, the court dismissed the plea by Chavan, who had challenged the Delhi High Court order holding that the EC can inquire into the allegations if the same was not disclosed by the candidate in his election expenses returns.
The court said the EC will hold day-to-day hearing and decide the complaint in 45 days.
In the 2009 assembly elections, Chavan won from the Bhokar assembly seat in Nanded by a margin of 1.25 lakh votes. His opponent, independent candidate Madhav Kinhalkar, filed a complaint with the EC, accusing him of hiding expenses on a 'paid' supplement titled 'Ashok Parva' (The era of Ashok) in a leading Marathi daily.
Chavan and the daily's management denied the allegation, saying the supplement was not a paid one. The EC probed into Kinhalkar's allegations and the Delhi High Court, in 2010, declined Chavan's plea seeking the stay of EC proceedings. He then moved the apex court in November 2011.
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Education qualification: Should Smriti Irani come clean?
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