New Delhi, July 13 :
The Election Commission Sunday issued notice to former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in a paid news case, asking why he should not be disqualified.
The poll panel said Chavan has failed to file his election expenses in the prescribed format.
“The commission has hereby decided that the respondent has failed to lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the act and rules,” said the notice, directing Chavan to reply within 20 days as to why he should not be disqualified.
In the 2009 Maharashtra assembly election, Chavan had won from Bhokar assembly seat in 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 a leading Marathi daily.
Chavan and the daily’s management denied the allegation saying that the supplement was not a paid one.
The poll panel initiated a probe into Kinhalkar’s allegations, while the Delhi High Court in 2010 declined Chavan’s plea seeking a stay on the proceedings.
He then moved the apex court in November 2011. However, the Supreme Court May 5 ruled that the poll panel was empowered to inquire into the allegation of paid news if the expenses for the same are not being reflected in the election return filed by the candidate.