Devendra Fadnavis’s review petition dismissed by Supreme Court, will have to face trial
In a huge blow to former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Supreme Court has rejected his review petition that wanted the top court to cancel criminal proceedings against him for failure to disclose two pending criminal cases against him in an election affidavit.
“We find no ground to interfere in the review petitions. The same are dismissed,” a three-judge bench of the top court comprising justices Arun Mishra, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose has ruled in the one-line verdict delivered.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader had challenged the 2019 verdict of the Supreme Court that declined to interfere with the criminal proceedings against him for the affidavit filed for the 2014 elections.
Before the judges concluded oral arguments, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi who represented the former Maharashtra chief minister had pleaded with the top court to revisit their verdict. “This will seal my fate. It is an important question as it affects Article 21,” Rohatgi had told the bench.
Bombay High Court lawyer Satish Ukey had set the case in motion back in 2014 when he filed a complaint alleging that Fadnavis failed to disclose details of two criminal cases pending against him in his election affidavit and demanded that he should be prosecuted.
The two cases against Fadnavis pertained to alleged cheating and forgery that had been filed in 1996 and 1998, respectively,
Satish Ukey did not get far. First the Sessions Court in May 2016, and later the Bombay High Court in May 2016 ruled that there was no need to prosecute Fadnavis under section 125A of the Representation of People Act that deals with the penalty for filing false affidavit.
But Ukey did not give up and approached the Supreme Court.
A three-judge bench led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi set aside the Bombay high court clean chit in September 2019, holding that the two verdicts were not legally tenable. The trial court was told to resume the case against Fadnavis who was Maharashtra chief minister when the verdict was delivered.