Former Maharashtra CM and opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis.
Former Maharashtra CM and opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis.
Photo by PTI

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will be put on trial for concealing information on pending criminal cases in his poll affidavit filed during the 2014 Assembly elections.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed his review petition, finding no new ground to interfere with the earlier orders.

A 3-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, which had reserved the verdict on February 18, upheld the judgment of October 2019 allowing his trial by a Nagpur court and asked the trial court to start the hearing which is already delayed, without loss of time.

It rejected the plea of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi to quash the former CM's trial on the ground that it would otherwise have far-reaching effect on many candidates in various elections.

The Apex Court bench headed by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had last year quashed the Bombay High Court's decision to give a clean chit to Fadnavis on the ground that no crime is committed under the Representation of People Act (RPA).

The case was filed by Nagpur lawyer Satish Uke seeking criminal proceedings against Fadnavis for suppressing the cases of cheating and forgery registered against him in 1996 and 1998, though the charges were not framed in both the matters. Uke alleged that Fadnavis had not disclosed the information in his election affidavits.

The trial court had begun the proceedings against Fadnavis last year following the Supreme Court's green signal to prosecute him, but the trial was suspended on his plea that the Supreme Court has admitted his review petition.

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