Notwithstanding 'regret', Anna to sue Tewari



New Delhi: Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari on Thursday apologised for levelling allegations against Anna Hazare that he was corrupt and appealed to the Gandhian to call off his 10-day fast.

But the apology by the Congress MP from Punjab did not cut much ice with Hazare since the anti-corruption crusader's lawyer Milind Pawar said a case of defamation would be filed against him in a Pune court next week.

Two days before Hazare was due to begin his fast in Delhi on August 16, the activist was targeted by Congress for the first time when Tewari cited the Sawant Commission report and accused him of being "steeped in corruption from head to toe".

"I know some of my recent utterances have caused hurt to Mr Hazare. I regret the same and I would like to appeal to him as a citizen of this country to end his fast," Tewari said in Delhi.

"In the course of political cut and thrust, certain things are inadvertantly said which cause pain," he said.

Tewari while going ballistic against Hazare said "the Sawant Commission ripped apart the moral core of Hazare as it found him steeped in corruption from head to toe."

He had also alleged that Team Anna comprised "armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists funded by invisible donors".

Pawar said that notwithstanding the regret expressed by Tiwari a defamation case will be filed against him.

"We will file a case against Manish Tewari under IPC Section 500 for the defamatory remarks made by him against Hazare on August 14, describing him as a corrupt person at a public forum," he said in Pune

Pawar, who returned to the city from Delhi last night, said Hazare's secretary had given him the go ahead for filing the criminal complaint against Tiwari.

Tewari's comments had evoked strong reactions from the Hazare's supporters.

Asked why the matter was being pressed by the Hazare camp even after Tewari publicly expressed regret for his remarks, the lawyer said the acceptance of guilt on his part did not mean that he should go unpunished for his "insolent" utterances against the veteran social activist.

PTI