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Ashok Chavan paid news case: EC frames five-point charges

Ashok Chavan

The Election Commission (EC) today framed five specific charges against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan
Ashok ChavanNew Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) today framed five specific charges against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the alleged ‘paid news’ case and furnishing of ‘incorrect’ election accounts case against him.

The EC, after framing the charges, also asked the complainants in the case to furnish all their evidence “in the form of affidavits” to the poll-panel by June 4.

The EC’s full panel, comprising Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi will hold the next hearing in the case on June 9.

Chavan, who recently won Lok Sabha polls from Nanded constituency of Maharashtra, too has been asked to produce evidence “in rebuttal” of the evidence produced by complainants before the hearing.

The EC had, on the directions of the Supreme Court, issued a notice to Chavan sometime back to appear before it in connection with the case of alleged expenses made by him during the 2009 polls which were categorised as “paid news”.

The apex court had, in its earlier order, given a free hand to the Commission to inquire into complaints of ‘paid news’ or incorrect expenses against a political leader.

One of the charges framed by the EC in this case states that the hearing would be done to find if the alleged ‘paid news’ instances were “incurred or authorised by the respondent (Chavan) or by his election agent or by any other person with the consent or knowledge of the respondent or of his election agent”

The complainants against Chavan include former Maharashtra minister Madhavrao Kinhalkar and BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kirit Somaiya.

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