Court Acquits BJP MP Shankar Lalwani In 2019 Poll Code Violation Case

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The judge granted “the benefit of doubt” to Shankar Lalwani (File)

Indore:

A district court in Indore has acquitted local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shankar Lalwani in a case of alleged violation of the model code of conduct during the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, granting him “the benefit of doubt”.

The case relates to alleged offering of BJP flags and clothes bearing the party’s election symbol by him to an idol of Lord Ganesh at a temple in the city’s Khajrana area.

Special Judge Suresh Yadav, in his judgement on Monday, granted “the benefit of doubt” to Shankar Lalwani and absolved him of charges brought under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Misuse of Religious Institutions Act.

The court, which deals with cases involving MPs and MLAs, said in its verdict that the prosecution has failed to establish the charges levelled against the Lok Sabha member beyond reasonable doubt.

The priests of the Khajrana temple and other key witnesses did not support the prosecution claims in the court, while Shankar Lalwani said he was falsely implicated due to “political rivalry”.

The Congress had lodged a complaint with the state Chief Electoral Officer after a video of the purported incident went viral on social media.

The complaint alleged that Shankar Lalwani, the BJP candidate from Indore, had offered clothes with his party’s flag to an idol of Lord Ganesh in the Khajrana temple on April 29, 2019, before filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections.

Following the complaint, the administration lodged a case against Shankar Lalwani, who was subsequently elected from Indore, at the Khajrana police station for allegedly violating the model code of conduct which was then in force for the polls. PTI HWP MAS RSY

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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