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Former minister, in custody for 27 months, seeks bail in HC

Suresh-Dada-JainFormer Maharashtra Housing Minister Suresh Dada Jain has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking bail on health and compassionate grounds in the infamous Jalgaon housing scam case.

The petition would come up for hearing in due course, court sources said.

Jain, 71, in the petition, has prayed that he has been in prison for 27 months and undergone a complex bypass surgery during this period. He said his health has been frail and he has developed many complications due to diabetes and old age.

He said that he was also suffering from various other ailments such as hypertension, enlarged prostate, digestive system-related issues, cramps in legs and imbalance while walking, among others.

Jain, who has been a member of the state Legislative Assembly for over three decades and is currently a Shiv Sena MLA, said he had been a victim of larger political conspiracy and vendetta hatched by his opponents. He further alleged that he had been falsely implicated in Jalgaon housing scam case.

The former minister, who was arrested on March 11, 2012, pleaded that the charge sheet had already been filed and the investigations were over. Even charges had been framed in the trial court.

He cited Supreme Court guidelines which stipulate that cases under Prevention of Corruption Act against public servants (MLAs and ministers) must be competed within a year.

In this case, ten months have passed after charges were framed and he continues to be in jail, Jain contended.

The prosecution has opposed the bail plea, saying he was an influential person and might tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

However, Jain said in a counter affidavit that the case had been transferred from Jalgaon to Dhule district. Hence, there was no scope of his influencing witnesses as alleged by the prosecution, he submitted.

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