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Sawant Commission Didn't Term Hazare Corrupt: Lawyer

Pune, Aug 15: Amidst Congress accusing social activist Anna Hazare of corruption citing Justice P B Sawant Commission report, his lawyer said the Commission did not hold the Gandhian guilty of any wrongdoings.Justice P B
PTI August 15, 2011 7:01 IST
PTI

Pune, Aug 15: Amidst Congress accusing social activist Anna Hazare of corruption citing Justice P B Sawant Commission report, his lawyer said the Commission did not hold the Gandhian guilty of any wrongdoings.

Justice P B Sawant who had investigated the complaints against Hazare's Hind Swaraj Trust had remarked about “irregularities” in submission of accounts and not held him guilty of any “corrupt” practices, Hazare's lawyer Milind Pawar said in a statement here.

Sawant, whose probe found that an amount of Rs 2.2 lakh was diverted from Hazare's trust for his birthday celebrations, has said this action amounted to “corruption”.

Pawar said when a US-based NGO Care International announced an award for Hazare, it was decided to felicitate him on June 16, 1998, coinciding with his 61st birthday.

“Abhay Phirodia, a Pune-based industrialist took the initiative to organise the function and remitted an amount of Rs 2,48,950 to the trust by cheque soon after the function for which the trust had spent Rs 2.18 lakh,” he said.

Pawar said after the report of Justice Sawant was released in 2003, a complaint was filed with Pune police on December 9, 2005.

Police, in their report submitted to the court, stated there was no evidence of corruption on part of Hazare, the lawyer claimed.

The judge subsequently discharged Hazare on July 12, 2011 after the complaint against the Gandhian was withdrawn by one Hemant Patil, who had filed it, Pawar stated.

The Charity Commissioner's office had also withdrawn its notice given to the trust for irregular submission of accounts in July 2011 with a “written apology”, he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari had cited Justice P B Sawant Commission report and said it had ripped apart the “moral core” of Hazare as it “found him steeped in corruption from head to toe”.

Meanwhile, the 74-year-old anti-graft crusader said he will not call of his proposed fast on Lokpal issue. PTI