New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said that the Election Commission can probe complaints of paid news and disqualify candidates lying about their poll expenses. The remarks came in the backdrop of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan challenging Election Commission jurisdiction to probe his poll expenses.
The Supreme Court dismissed Chavan's petition which sought to quash the Bombay High Court order giving the Election Commission the go ahead to probe his expenses - in relation to allegations of paying for news.
The apex court directed the EC to decide complaint of paid news against Chavan within 45 days.
If found guilty, Chavan will be barred for contesting for 3 years, so even if he is elected from Nanded in the Lok Sabha polls, his victory would be declared invalid.
Lawyer Pinki Anand said that the apex court has directed the EC to complete the matters of investigation on a day to day basis. Supreme Court said, "The EC can disqualify the candidate if he is found guilty."
Chavan had filed a counter complaint against the Election Commission saying it did not have jurisdiction to probe the matter.
The case referred to Chavan not disclosing the amount spend on paid news during 2009 elections, when he contested from Nanded.