EC concludes hearing in paid news case involving Ashok Chavan

New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The Election Commission todayconcluded oral hearing on a case seeking to disqualify AshokChavan as member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on the"paid news component" of his poll campaign.

A complaint filed before the Election Commission byMadhav Kinhalkar, an Independent candidate who lost the BhokarAssembly poll, challenged Chavan''s claim that he had spentaround Rs 11,000 on placing advertisements during his electioncampaign.

Chavan received coverage in newspapers with advertisementsin the garb of news, the complaint says.

The EC had issued notice to Chavan in January last yearin the case and the hearings had begun in July last year.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had also petitioned theCommission on the issue.

Chavan''s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said theCommission had given 15 days for both the sides to makewritten submissions following which it would decide on thedate of the verdict.

Singhvi also questioned the jurisdiction of the ElectionCommission to inquire into the issue of paid news contendingthat such charges should be inquired only by the High Court.

The EC places an expenditure ceiling of Rs 25 lakh percandidate for Lok Sabha elections and Rs 10 lakh for stateAssembly elections. Candidates are required to submit electionexpense reports thrice during the entire election period. PTISKU

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