NOW, THE BAD NEWS
EC may bar Ashok Chavan from contesting polls for three years over case of ‘ paid’ news
The Election Commission ( EC) is likely to disqualify former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan from contesting any election for three years. The grounds— allegedly hiding expenses on his campaign during the October 2009 Assembly elections. The Supreme Court on May 2 cleared the decks for EC action by rejecting Chavan’s plea to stop a probe into the matter. Chief Election Commissioner S. Y. Quraishi is expected to deliver his verdict before he retires on June 10.
Chavan, an accused in the Adarsh Housing Society case, won from Bhokar, Nanded, by a margin of 1.25 lakh votes. His opponent, independent candidate Madhav Kinhalkar, filed a complaint with EC, accusing him of hiding expenses on a ‘ paid’ supplement titled ‘ Ashok Parva’ ( The era of Ashok) in leading Marathi daily Lokmat. Chavan and the daily’s management say the supplement was not a paid one. EC began a probe into Kinhalkar’s charges. Chavan, then, filed a petition in the Delhi High Court in 2010 demanding a stay and later approached the Supreme Court in November 2011 after the high court rejected his contention.
EC has reportedly found facts that corroborate Kinhalkar’s complaint. It will now record Chavan’s defence. If found guilty, EC can disqualify Chavan and bar him from contesting elections for three years. Kinhalkar has also filed a case against Chavan in the Bombay High Court seeking his disqualification.