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Ashok ChavanA Maharashtra politician has moved the Delhi High Court against its verdict setting aside the Election Commission’s order holding former Chief Minister of the state Ashok Chavan guilty of filing incorrect expenses for the 2009 Assembly elections.

The plea by Independent candidate Madhavrao Kinhalkar, who had filed the complaint against Chavan in the EC, is listed for hearing on Wednesday before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw.

Challenging the court’s September 12 verdict, the plea said the court had “erroneously set aside the well reasoned show cause notice issued by the EC to Chavan in which he was given 20 days to respond” to the allegations.

On September 12, the high court had set aside the show cause notice issued to him saying the poll panel failed to comply with the Conduct of Elections Rules, according to which a candidate is entitled to an opportunity of an explanation within 20 days on whether expenses disclosed by him are correct, prior to giving a finding.

The court had observed that issuance of show cause notice was rendered only an “idle formality” and only a ritual of passing a consequential order was left.

The single judge bench of the high court had said that Chavan had “duly accounted” for expenditure on advertisements that were in his knowledge and if publishers of the ads in question did not bring it to his notice then “he could not be expected or required to account for those expenditures”.

On July 24, Chavan had moved the high court against EC’s July 13 order seeking that it be set aside to the extent that it holds that he had failed to lodge the poll expense account in the time and manner required under the law. He had also sought quashing of the show cause notice.

The poll panel, in its order, had given Chavan, an MP from Nanded parliamentary seat, a 20-day deadline to respond to the show cause notice which was issued after it found him guilty of failing to “lodge his account of election expenses in the manner required by the (Representation of the People) Act and Rules”.

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