mid the anti-BJP wave going across the nation, which was observed during the assembly election results in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, the Supreme Court’s notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for allegedly concealing criminal cases registered against him in his 2014 election affidavit gave another opportunity to the netizens and the Opposition to criticise Fadnavis and strengthen the political atmosphere in favour of the oppositions ahead of the 2019 the elections.
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on a plea seeking annulment of his election for alleged non-disclosure of pending criminal cases against him in his nomination papers. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph sought response of the Chief Minister on an appeal filed against a Bombay High Court order. The Bombay HC had dismissed the plea of one Satish Ukey seeking annulment of Fadnavis’s election to the Maharashtra Assembly on the ground of alleged non-disclosure of all pending criminal cases against him.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande stated, “If the government speaks about transparency and any question is being raised, then according to me, CM Fadnavis should reply to the notice and satisfy the query of the court.”
Later, on Thursday afternoon, CMO released a statement stating that CM Fadnavis will file an appropriate response to the Supreme Court’s notice to him on a plea seeking annulment of his election to the state Assembly for alleged non-disclosure of pending criminal cases against him. The SC’s notice was whether or not to admit the plea, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) mentioned in the statement. It also said that Fadnavis had filed all details about cases against him in the election affidavit in 2014. The petitioner had moved the high court which dismissed the case calling it baseless.
When AV spoke to BJP regional vice-president Vasant Gite, he commented, “Our CM Office has declared a note on this that, we will reveal our statement at an appropriate time.”
The Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) has recently released its report on India’s 31 Chief Ministers, which also included the criminal cases registered against each of them. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had the highest number of criminal cases, 22, registered against him. Some of the charges against Fadnavis include three serious criminal charges such as “abetment of such assault, if the assault is committed”, “voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means”, being part of an unlawful assembly, rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent.
Congress leader Harish Rogye appealed for the investigation to take place. “When we contest for an election, we need to put all our criminal and other records in front of the Election Commission and if he has not shown it, then legally he is responsible.”
“Narendra Modi and BJP had said many things, but now we can clearly see that the corrupt people have thrived in his reign. Even the loan defaulters who have fled, aren’t they friends with Modi? They only said that they want a corruption-free India but the whole corruption is taking place from their side. The whole country is watching and we have seen the results in the recent five assembly elections,” Rogye further expressed.
Apart from Fadnavis, there are several other political leaders including Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar who got mentioned. However, since the notice was sent to the CM, it caught fire on social media. Now, after winning in five states, the Opposition took every advantage of it to make their fortune in state’s upcoming elections. Appearing for the petitioner, Kapil Sibal argued that Fadnavis didn’t disclose details of the pending cases and as per law, he had to disclose cases taken cognisance by a court.
NCP legislator Shashikant Shinde asserted, “If the Supreme Court has sent the notice, then it should be verified whether those are political cases or criminal cases. If the court takes any decision against any leader who has criminal records and was elected by muscle power, then the decision should be accepted without any dispute.”
Nonetheless, the decision on this case will take its time to make way out. Looking at the current Indian political scenario, where there are a number of criminal record holders and corrupt leaders in the politics, it must be ensured in the coming years to make a crystal clear image of the Indian politics in the minds of people across the globe.