The Supreme Court has today dismissed the review petition filed by the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis who sought the review of its 2019 judgment which had set aside the clean chit given to him by the Bombay High Court.
The bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose dismissed the review petition and directed Fadnavis to face trial for failing to furnish the pending criminal case details against him, in the 2014 poll affidavit.
Earlier, on 1 October 2019, a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had set aside the clean chit given to Fadnavis by the Bombay High Court, in a case alleging furnishing false information in the election affidavit. The bench had observed that prima facie case under Section 125 of the Representation of Peoples Act was made out against Fadnavis, and directed the trial court to proceed with the case. However, he then filed for review of the said order, which was later allowed by the three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose for an oral hearing of review petition in open court.
The order which was released on 2 March observed that “We find no ground to interfere in the review petitions. The same is dismissed.”
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, while referring to Section 33 A (1) of the Representation of the People Act 1951, stated that there was no requirement to furnish information regarding a criminal case unless the charge has been framed by the trial court. He further told the bench that the issue will have very far-reaching consequences for other candidates fighting elections and sought for the honorable apex court’s re-examination of its 2019 decision.
As per sources, Fadnavis is facing trial for cheating and forgery in two cases which were filed against him in 1996 and 1998, but charges were not framed in both cases.