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Paid news case: HC reserves order on Chavan's plea

Paid news case: HC reserves order on Chavans plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved its order on the plea of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan challenging the Election Commission's show cause notice asking him to explain why he should not be disqualified in a "paid news" case.

Justice Suresh Kait reserved the order after the arguments were concluded in the case.

The court had earlier stayed the poll panel's show cause notice order issued to Chavan, currently an MP from Nanded, till Nov 5.

The poll panel had issued show cause notice July 13 to Chavan for failing to lodge his election expenses as per law in the paid news case when he contested and won from Bhokar assembly seat in the 2009 Maharashtra elections.

However, Chavan has contended that he had filed all the correct poll expenses of Rs.6.85 lakh and sought setting aside of the commission's notice.

He argued that the poll panel has not followed the procedure laid out in the Representation of the People Act prior to giving its findings. The former chief minister said the expenses that he had allegedly not declared related to some advertisements that were released in October 2009 regarding a meeting that was to be held between the members of UPA.

Chavan's opponent, Independent candidate Madhavrao Kinhalkar, had filed a complaint with the poll panel, accusing Chavan of hiding expenses on a "paid" supplement titled "Ashok Parva" (The era of Ashok) in a leading Marathi daily.

Chavan's petition, however, stated that he did not know who had issued the advertisements and that even the publishers of the advertisements had stated in an affidavit before the poll panel that Chavan had no knowledge about it.

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