Non-disclosure of cases in poll affidavit: Nagpur court acquits Fadnavis

A local court here on Friday held as not guilty Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in connection with a complaint that accused the BJP leader of not disclosing criminal cases pending against him in his poll affidavit ahead of the 2014 assembly elections.

Civil Judge S S Jadhav said the court has “dosh mukt” (acquitted) Fadnavis, who was present in the courtroom virtually.

Satish Uke, an advocate, had filed an application seeking criminal proceedings against Fadnavis alleging that cases of cheating and forgery had been registered against the BJP leader in 1996 and 1998 the latter did not disclose this information in his poll affidavit.

Fadnavis had earlier admitted to the court in a statement that there had been an inadvertent mistake on the part of his lawyer while collating information about pending criminal cases against him due to which two criminal cases were not mentioned in his election affidavit submitted in 2014.

In the statement submitted on April 15, Fadnavis had said there was no intention to deliberately conceal information about the two “insignificant” complaint cases and their non-inclusion in the affidavit of Form 26 was “sheer inadvertence and without any intention”.

The deputy chief minister, elected from the Nagpur South West assembly constituency, further claimed that he had mentioned cases of more severe nature in his election affidavit.

The BJP leader maintained he has been a sitting member of the assembly since 1999 and has won by a huge margin each time.

Fadnavis had appeared before the court on two occasions to record his statement.

Uke is presently in jail after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering.

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