Electoral fraud case: Huge setback to BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis from Supreme Court, will have to face trial

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The Supreme Court has dismissed a review petition by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directing him to face trial in the electoral fraud case.

Devendra Fadnavis

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose had heard the review petition filed by Fadnavis last month. According to the Livelaw website, the bench, in its order on Monday, said, “We find no ground to interfere in the review petitions. The same are dismissed.”

The case against Fadnavis has been reopened after the Supreme Court on 1 October last year ordered a fresh trial on a plea filed by Nagpur based lawyer Satish Uke.

As exclusively reported by Janta Ka Reporter in November last year, 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, Fadnavis, who was the interim chief minister of Maharashtra then, was required to obtain bail by appearing before the court. Uke had also made a representation to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari requesting him to disallow Fadnavis to function as the incumbent chief minister of the state.

Devendra Fadnavis was elected as the chief minister of Maharashtra in 2014 after his party won a landslide with its political partner, the Shiv Sena. In 2015, Uke approached the court alleging that Fadnavis had not disclosed at least two criminal cases against him in his affidavit. Much to his disappointment, the court rejected his petition.

Unfazed by the early disappointment by the JMFC court, Uke moved the sessions court, which set aside the order by the JMFC court. Fadnavis moved the High Court, which set aside the sessions court’s order against him.

Uke approached the Supreme Court, which ordered the re-trial of the Fadnavis case on 1 October. The Supreme Court Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and  Aniruddha Bose observed that prima facie case under Section 125 of the Representation of Peoples Act was made out against Fadnavis.

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