HC verdict in poll code breach case against Narendra Modi on Nov 5
Justice JB Pardiwala, after hearing submissions of petitioner Nishant Verma's lawyer KR Koshti and advocate general Kamal Trivedi, reserved the judgement.
Verma, a member of Aam Aadmi Party, has challenged the ruling of a local court which in May dismissed his plea seeking legal action against Modi for violation of election- related laws during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
On April 30 last year, when voting was underway for the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, Modi, then BJP's prime ministerial candidate, addressed the media immediately after casting his vote at a school in Ranip area of the city and also displayed his party's symbol, the lotus.
The Election Commission ordered a probe, but the city police's crime branch eventually gave a clean chit to Modi. Verma moved the court but chief judicial magistrate of Ahmedabad rural court dismissed his plea and upheld the crime branch's findings.
Koshti argued in the high court that the police investigation was under an influence because Modi was then the chief minister of Gujarat. Modi, when he stepped out of polling booth, was aware that entire media was there and his display of party symbol will go as a message to the entire country, Koshti claimed.
The investigating officer didn't inform either the Election Commission or the petitioner about submission of closure report giving a clean chit to Modi, he said.
The high court asked Koshti why a private complaint was filed after the EC had already directed the police to file an FIR. Koshti argued that the police's FIR was faulty.
Advocate general Trivedi opposed the petition and said Verma never appeared before the investigating officer even once, he sought 12 adjournments before the local court but never produced any witnesses from his side.