In some relief for former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, a three-judge SC bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose on Thursday agreed to hear the former’s review petition in open court. Fadnavis had moved the SC against its order dated October 1, 2019, which ruled that he would have to stand trial in a case pertaining to alleged discrepancies in the 2014 poll affidavit. Originally, the Bombay High Court had ruled in the favour of the former Maharashtra CM.
The SC order dated January 23, 2020 read, "Application seeking oral hearing of review petitions in open court is/are allowed. List review petitions before the court.”
Fadnavis had contested the 2014 Assembly election from the Nagpur South West constituency. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a candidate is supposed to compulsorily list information about pending criminal cases, charges framed by a court and convictions. The complainant Satish Ukey claimed that the former Maharashtra CM had failed to disclose two pending criminal cases against him. Setting aside the Bombay HC verdict on October 1, 2019, a SC bench comprising former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose remitted the matter to the trial court for fresh consideration.
The verdict noted, ”...in view of the clear averment made in the complaint to the effect that the First Respondent (Fadnavis) had knowledge of the two cases against him which had not been mentioned in the affidavit filed by the First Respondent alongwith his nomination papers, we unhesitatingly arrive at the conclusion that the order of the learned trial Court upheld by the High Court by the impugned judgment and order dated 3rd May, 2018 is legally not tenable and the same deserves to be set aside which we hereby do.”
On November 28, 2019- the day of the swearing-in ceremony of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis received summons from a local Nagpur court regarding this case. Subsequently, he sought personal exemption on the grounds that he was busy campaigning for the Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections. Meanwhile, Ukey has filed another petition against the former Maharashtra CM contending that there were discrepancies in his 2019 poll affidavit. Seeking the reply of Fadnavis, the Bombay HC posted the matter for hearing on February 14, 2020.