Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis has received summons from a local Nagpur court for allegedly concealing information in his 2014 election affidavit about two criminal cases, PTI reported on Friday. The Nagpur Police delivered the summons at Fadnavis’s home on Thursday, the day the new Shiv Sena-led government was sworn in in Maharashtra.
The two cases of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998. On November 1, a magistrate’s court restored an application seeking criminal proceedings against the Nagpur MLA.
The petitioner, Satish Ukey, alleged that Fadnavis did not disclose the pending criminal cases against him while filing his nomination papers for the 2009 and 2014 Assembly elections, and thus violated the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.
Ukey had moved the Supreme Court after his plea was dismissed by the Bombay High Court. On October 1, the Supreme Court set aside the Bombay High Court order exonerating Fadnavis. The bench said the case against Fadnavis was made out under Section 125 of the Representation of People Act. The court said Fadnavis had knowledge of but did not mention the criminal cases in his poll affidavit. It then directed the magistrate’s court to go ahead with the application.
The magistrate’s court issued the summons on November 4. “Process [notice] is issued against accused [Mr Fadnavis] for offence punishable under section 125A of Representation of People Act, 1951,” said Magistrate SD Mehta in the notice. The notice asked him to be present before the court on December 4 for a hearing, reported The Indian Express.
Asked about the delay in delivering the summons, Inspector Mahesh Bansode of Sadar police station said it was the usual practice to hand over summons only three to four days before the date of hearing. “We had tried to deliver it earlier in the Hyderabad House secretariat of the chief minister at Nagpur, but it was closed,” he told The Indian Express. “So, we delivered it at his office-cum-residence in Trikoni Park area on Thursday.”