Bombay High Court imposes Rs 25,000 fine on petitioner for 'wasting' its time

In a relief to the BJP parliamentarian from Akola, the Bombay High Court recently dismissed a petition seeking his disqualification for failing to disclose his expenses on using a helicopter for Gopinath Munde and for publishing advertisements of the then PM candidate Narendra Modi. The HC has accordingly imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner, a villager, for “wasting” its time.

A division bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Shriram Modak dismissed the plea filed by Shrikrishna Adbol, a villager from Hingni, Akola and has ordered him to pay Rs 25,000 costs to veterinary hospital, Nagpur.

Adbol had petitioned the bench challenging the orders of Election Commission, which dismissed his complaint filed against sitting MP Sanjay Dhotre.

In his complaint, Adbol alleged that Dhotre did not disclose the expenses pertaining to his political campaigns for the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

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According to Adbol, Dhotre failed to make public, the expenses made by the BJP for using a helicopter for the rally of late Gopinath Munde. He also claimed that Dhotre did not reveal the expenses for publishing numerous ads of Narendra Modi in various newspapers.

He had also questioned the expenses for rallies of several senior leaders of BJP in Akola.

Having heard the contentions, the bench noted that the provisions of the Representatives of the Peoples Act, 1950 disallows the HC to decide whether the account of election expenses reflect a truthful account of expenditure incurred or whether the candidate has suppressed election expenditure.

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“Thus, we find that the complaint preferred by Adbol actually has the pleadings of an election petition. The entire thrust in his complaint before the Election Commission was with regard to allegations of suppression of election expenditure by Dhotre,” the judges noted.

The bench furthet noted that the provisions of the law provides for filing an election petition questioning the election of a candidate within a period of 45 days. It further noted that the election took place in May 2014 but Adbol filed his complaint before the EC in April 2015.

“We are therefore convinced that Adbol has shrewdly preferred such complaint and has wasted the time of this court. We are imposing costs of Rs 25,000 to be donated to the veterinary college and hospital, Nagpur,” Justice Ghuge order, dismissing the petition.