Upholds the order of the sessions court
Gandhinagar : The Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed a criminal application that sought punitive action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for concealing his marital status in his affidavit filed along with his nomination papers for the 2012 State Assembly elections in Gujarat.
The single judge bench of acting chief justice V M Sahai rejected the petition and upheld the order of the sessions court dismissing the petition.The petition had contended that the affidavit was rendered defective due to the concealment. The Sessions Court had dismissed it on grounds of delay in lodging the complaint.
Justice Sahai ruled that the court could not assume that the petitioner had no knowledge about the offence prior to 2014. “Had you specifically mentioned that you came to know about the offence only in 2014 during the elections, things would have been different”, he told the petitioner’s lawyer.
It was in 2014 that the petitioner, Nishant Verma, an Aam Admi Party(AAP) activist , had moved a magisterial court seeking action against Modi. According to the petition, Modi had in his nomination form for the Vadodara Parliamentary constituency, revealed his marital status and mentioned Jashodaben as his wife. He had not done so in his prior affidavit filed in 2012, when he had contested the Assembly elections.He had then left the space asking him to define his marital status as blank.
This, petitioner claimed, amounted to concealing information and sought action against Modi under the provisions of Representation of People (RP) Act.
Verma filed a criminal complaint in a magisterial court demanding an FIR be lodged against Modi and P K Jadeja, election officer. The court rejected the complaint stating that though an offence has been committed but cognizance can”t be taken since the complaint was lodged after a delay of one year and four months.
The High Court also provided relief to Modi as it expunged the remarks of the judicial magistrate”s order that observed that the offence is made out against him under Section 125 of the RP Act.
R K Misra
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