Chavan faces disqualification over 2009 paid news case

Chavan faces disqualification over 2009 paid news case
Highlights

Ashok Chavan Faces Disqualification Over 2009 Paid News Case. In 45 days, the Election Commission (EC) must decide whether Congress leader Ashok Chavan under-reported his election expenses in 2009, when he successfully ran for the State legislature, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

  • SC rejects ex-Maharashtra chief minister’s plea questioning EC authority
  • A series of newspapers ran articles praising his achievements in 2009 polls
  • EC granted 45 days to decide whether he misrepresented poll expenses
  • He is contesting from Nanded Lok Sabha constituency

New Delhi: In 45 days, the Election Commission (EC) must decide whether Congress leader Ashok Chavan under-reported his election expenses in 2009, when he successfully ran for the State legislature, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Chavan is contesting the national election now from Nanded in Maharashtra. If he wins his election, but is found guilty, he will be disqualified immediately as a parliamentarian and be barred from contesting for the next three years. He has been accused by the BJP and others of concealing the money he allegedly spent in 2009 on "paid news" - a series of newspapers ran articles praising his achievements.

Chavan had denied any wrong-doing and said the newspaper reports were objective assessments of his work.

The Supreme Court order rejected Chavan's argument that the EC does not have the authority to decide whether a candidate could be disqualified for misrepresenting how much money was spent on his or her campaign. "I accept the Supreme Court's order, I will now fight my case with the Election Commission," said Chavan, who was removed as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2010 after allegations of corruption.

The Congress was derided by political opponents for choosing Chavan as a candidate for the national election despite the fact that its vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, had professed zero-tolerance on corruption.

Chavan has been accused by the CBI of using his office as chief minister to allow the misappropriation of flats meant for retired defence officers and their families. Chavan's relatives allegedly landed three apartments in the 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

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