Plea in Pune court accuses Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde of discrepancies in poll affidavits

Image Source : PTI Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde interacts with media during his visit to his mentor Anand Dighes Anand Ashram, on the occasion of Guru Purnima, in Thane.

Two city residents have filed a `private complaint’ in a court here seeking registration of a criminal case against Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for alleged discrepancies in election affidavits over the years. Among other things, Shinde did not furnish information about a purchase of farmland in his wife’s name in his affidavit when he contested the 2009 and 2014 Assembly elections, it claimed.

Additional chief judicial magistrate T M Ahmed on Wednesday posted the matter for ‘verification of documents and evidence’ on August 17, the applicants’ lawyer said. Shinde, an MLA from Thane and senior Shiv Sena leader, became chief minister last month after rebelling against Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

The application was filed by Dr Abhishek Haridas and Abhijit Khedkar through advocate Sameer Shaikh earlier this month. Khedkar said their demand is that the magistrate order police to register a case under Indian Penal Code sections 199 (false statement made in declaration which is by law receiva­ble as evidence) and 200 (Using as true such declaration knowing it to be false) and sections of the Representation of the People Act. A `private complaint’ is filed when a person wants the court to order police probe in any matter.

“Our application alleges that there are several discrepancies in the election affidavits filed by Shinde before the state election commission in 2014 and 2019 (Assembly) elections,” said Khedkar. In his 2009 and 2014 poll affidavits, Shinde did not mention that there was some farmland in his wife’s name, but in 2019 he mentioned that his wife had purchased farmland at Chikhalgaon in Thane district on August 6, 2009, Khedkar claimed. There were also discrepancies about the cost of vehicles mentioned in various poll affidavits, he alleged. Advocate Shaikh said the court will first record the applicants’ statements. “The matter is now kept for verification and recording of evidence on August 17,” he said.

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