A Maharashtra lawyer has approached the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court seeking the declaration of Devendra Fadnavis’s election as ‘null and void’ for acquiring votes using corrupt practices. In his petition, lawyer Satish Uke has asked the court o ‘direct the returning Officer of 52, South-West Nagpur Constituency in 2019, to cancel and recall the certificate as an elected Member of House of the people in Election, 2019 from the 52, South-West Nagpur Constituency in 2019 as with immediate effect of the order Hon’ble Court.”
Fadnavis, who served as Maharashtra’s chief minister between 2014 and 2019, was elected as an MLA in this year’s elections from South-West Nagpur constituency.
This comes days after a Judicial Magistrate First Class Court (JMFC) directed Fadnavis to remain present in the court on 4 December during the hearing of the case, which has been re-registered following a Supreme Court directive on 1 October. The case against Fadnavis has been reopened after the Supreme Court on 1 October ordered a fresh trial on a plea filed by Uke.
Uke had argued that Fadanvis did not mention two criminal cases in his 2014 election affidavit demanding his election be declared invalid.
As an effect of this order, the accused Fadnavis is now required to obtain a bail by appearing before the court.
In his fresh petition, Uke has urged the court to ‘pass an order by applying Section 100(1)(b) R/w Section 123(2), Section 100(1)(d)(i), 100(1)(d)(ii), & 100(1) (d) (iv) / Section 123 (2),123(6) and 123 (7) for declaration of result of respondent no.1 (Fadnavis) candidate as returned candidate null & void.”
Fadnavis had defeated his nearest rival, Congress’ Ashish Deshmukh by a margin of 49,344 votes in the last month’s assembly elections. He had won from the same seat by 58,942 votes in 2014.
Uke has requested the court to pass and order declaring Deshmukh the winner South-West Nagpur constituency.