Madhya Pradesh health minister Narottam Mishra was on Thursday grilled at the Election Commission of India (ECI) office in New Delhi in connection with a complaint regarding corrupt practices and paid news. The 2.5 hour-long session was held in the presence of chief election commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi and election commissioners AK Joti and OP Rawat.
Former Congress MLA Rajendra Bharti (Datia) had in April 2009 lodged a complaint with the ECI, alleging Mishra of corrupt practices and paid news during the 2008 assembly elections. Taking cognizance of the complaint, ECI had issued a notice to Mishra in January 2013, seeking his response.
Following this, Mishra challenged the EC notice in the high court bench at Gwalior and managed to get a stay in light of former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chouhan’s case proceeding in the apex court. The court however vacated the stay order after considering the facts submitted by complainant’s counsel.
Mishra then approached the double bench for stalling the EC proceedings but the apex court did not grant him any relief either.
The cross-examination went on from 3 pm to 5.30 pm amid some interruption by the defense council, most of which were overruled by the EC members, said Bharti’s counsel Prateep Bisoria. Mishra was flanked by his lawyers.
The commission fixed February 18 as the next date for the cross-examination, which could not be completed on Thursday.