An Apex Court bench of Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said this while dismissing a plea by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan.

Having held that Election Commission can inquire into the allegation, the court dismissed the plea by Chavan, who had challenged the Delhi High Court’s order holding that the commission can inquire into the allegations of paid news if same was not disclosed by the candidate in his election expenses returns.

The Apex Court said that the Election Commission will hold day to day hearing and decide the complaint in 45 days. In the 2009 assembly polls, Chavan had won from Bhokar Assembly seat in Nanded by a margin of 1.25 lakh votes.

His opponent, independent candidate Madhav Kinhalkar, filed a complaint with the Election Commission, accusing him of hiding expenses on a 'paid' supplement titled 'Ashok Parva' (The era of Ashok) in a leading Marathi daily.

Chavan and the daily's management denied the allegation, saying that the supplement was not a paid one. The Election Commission probed into Kinhalkar's allegations. The Delhi High Court in 2010 declined Chavan's plea seeking the stay of the Election Commission proceedings. The former Maharashtra chief minister then moved the Apex Court in November 2011.


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