A Nagpur court on Thursday granted former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis bail in connection with a complaint seeking criminal proceedings against him, for allegedly not disclosing criminal cases in his election affidavit in 2014, PTI reported. Fadnavis appeared in court after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate PS Ingle gave him the last chance to do so.
Taking note of Fadnavis’ appearance before the court, the magistrate granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 15,000. The two cases of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998.
The court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Satish Uke, asking the court to begin criminal proceedings against Fadnavis for alleged non-disclosure of criminal cases registered against him. The court had since November granted Fadnavis exemption from appearing before it four times. On Thursday, it said the case will be heard next on March 30.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on Fadnavis’ plea seeking a review of its 2019 judgement that asked him to face trial for allegedly concealing information in the affidavit. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Fadnavis, told a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader did not give any false information. Rohatgi claimed that Fadnavis was wrongly prosecuted.
“This will seal my fate,” Rohatgi told the court on behalf of Fadnavis. “ It is an important question as it affects Article 21 [of the Constitution],” he said, referring to the fundamental right to life and liberty. “This is a matter which requires a re-look.”
On October 1 last year, 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.