Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Thursday directed
that the two defamation cases filed by Shiv Sena MLA
Sureshdada Jain against social activist Anna Hazare, at
Jalgaon and Mumbai, be clubbed and tried together.
Jain had lodged the two complaints in May 2003 after
Hazare made certain allegations against him at a press
Hazare had moved the High Court seeking clubbing of the
two cases and a trial at Mumbai court
"Both the complaints are similar. The complaint at
Jalgaon was lodged on June 5, 2003 and after a court there
issued notice, to cause inconvenience to Hazare, Jain lodged
another complaint in Mumbai on June 23," Hazare`s lawyer,
advocate MJ Bhatt, argued.
Jain`s lawyer, advocate Nilesh Pawaskar, opposed the
plea, saying that they were two different cases emanating from
Hazare`s defamatory statements on two occasions.
"On May 9, 2003 Hazare called Jain and other (state)
ministers corrupt at the press conference at Nanded. On May 19
he held another press conference where he made direct
allegation against Jain," Pawaskar said.
The division bench of Justices VM Kanade and AM Thipsay
however held that both the cases seemed to be similar. "We
also accept the apprehension of the applicant (Hazare) that if
the cases are tried separately, the complainant (Jain) will
come to know Hazare`s defence and might use it against him in
the second case in Mumbai," Justice Thipsay said.