In a temporary reprieve for anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, the Bombay high court on Thursday ordered the clubbing together of two defamation cases filed against him by former state minister Suresh Jain.
The former Shiv Sena Member of Legislative Council (MLC) had filed one case against Hazare at Jalgaon, and the other before the Esplanade metropolitan magistrate court in the city. Acting on a petition filed by Hazare, a division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Abhay Thipsay transferred the city case to Jalgaon.
The matter dates back to May 2003, when Jain was a minister in the Democratic Front government in the state. In a press conference held at Nanded, Marathwada, Hazare had alleged corruption against Jain, Vijaykumar Gavit, Padmasingh Patil and Nawab Malik — claiming he had ample evidence.
In June 2003, Jain filed two defamations cases against the social activist.
Hazare, in his petition before the HC, had contended that both cases were based on the same statement made by him. He also reasoned that Jain had proceeded with the Jalgaon case, and prolonged the case in the Esplanade Magistrate court by remaining absent.
Hazare said that the information he would reveal before the Jalgaon court will give an undue advantage to Jain in Mumbai case.