The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside the Election Commission’s decision to disqualify Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Narottam Mishra in a case of paid news, PTI reported. Mishra, a close aide of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is at present the minister of public relations, water resources and parliamentary affairs in the state government.

Congress leader Rajendra Bharti, who had contested against Mishra in the 2008 Assembly elections and lost, had accused him of not filing certain details in his election expenditure form.

On January 15, 2013, the Election Commission served a notice to Mishra. In 2016, it questioned him and concluded that he had not revealed his expenditure on paid news. In June 2017, the poll panel disqualified Mishra for three years.

On Friday, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sunil Gaur allowed Mishra’s plea that there was no proof that he had incurred expenses, whether directly or indirectly, on news biased in his favour during the 2008 elections.