- This will not impact Devendra Fadnavi in the October 21 state polls
- He'll face trial for allegedly not declaring criminal cases in 2014 polls
- Case would be heard by a magistrate's court, top court bench said
A complaint against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly failing to declare two criminal cases on his election affidavit in 2014 will be re-examined by a trial court, the Supreme Court said today, cancelling a High Court order clearing him.
This will not impact the Chief Minister in the October 21 Maharashtra election because he can continue as public representative and contest polls.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, reviving the complaint against Mr Fadnavis, said the case would be heard again by a trial court.
Mr Fadnavis "had knowledge but did not mention the cases in his poll affidavit," the Supreme Court said.
The punishment for concealing information or giving false information on one's election papers is six months jail or fine or both.
Two cases, one of defamation and another of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Mr Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998, but charges were not framed.
A petition challenging Mr Fadnavis's clean chit argued that a candidate was legally required to disclose details of all the cases in which charges have been framed or the trial court had taken note.
The complainant went to the trial court saying the two cases, which were private complaints filed by a lawyer, were not mentioned in the Chief Minister's poll affidavit. The trial court dismissed the complaint, after which the petitioner went to the sessions court, which sent the case back to the trial court. The sessions court order was challenged by Mr Fadnavis in the High Court, which said there was no case. The complainant next approached the Supreme Court, which today sent the case back to the trial court for fresh consideration.