Mumbai: Anna Hazare, on fast in Delhi demanding a stronger Lokpal Bill, has approached the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of a 2003 defamation case filed against him by a Shiv Sena MLA.
Sureshdada Jain, who was with NCP, and a member of Maharashtra Legislative Council then, had filed the complaint against Hazare over the allegations made by the activist at a press conference in Nanded, in May 2003.
Hazare, during his anti-corruption campaign in the state, had made some allegations against Jain.
The complaints were filed against Hazare in Jalgaon and in Mumbai on June 5, 2003 and June 23, 2003, respectively.
According to Hazare`s petition, the trial before a Jalgaon court was expedited by the Aurangabad bench of the high court. However, there had been no progress in the trial at Mumbai court.
Hazare has alleged in the petition that Jain deliberately chose to proceed with the trial in Jalgaon, but not in Mumbai, to see what defence Hazare takes.
Hazare`s lawyer Rajeev Bhatt said, the case itself should be quashed, or both the cases should be clubbed and tried simultaneously.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik told, the high court that trial in Jalgaon was at the fag end and only Hazare`s final statement under section 313 of the CrPC was to be recorded.
The matter came up before justices A M Khanwilkar and P D Kode today. However Justice Khanwilkar recused himself from the matter saying that he had appeared as a lawyer for Jain once.
The petition would now be placed before another bench.