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Home > News > PTI

Anna Hazare fails to persuade Sawant to head probe against Maharashtra ministers

August 19, 2003 22:51 IST
Last Updated: August 19, 2003 22:57 IST

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Tuesday failed to persuade retired Supreme Court judge P B Sawant to reconsider his decision not to head the inquiry commission to probe corruption charges against four Maharashtra ministers as and also the trusts headed by the social worker himself.

The ministers in question are Sureshchandra Jain, Padamsinh Patil, Vijaykumar Gavit and Nawab Malik.

Sawant on Monday said he was withdrawing from the probe in view of reported statement by Hazare, who had demanded a three-member committee, that he would not co-operate with a single-member probe panel.

On Tuesday, Hazare clarified in Mumbai that he had sought a three-member panel only to complete the probe in a specific time frame. "But after the government expressed its inability, I agreed for a two-member inquiry committee," he added.

Hazare, who met Sawant at his residence in Pune, said, "I have full faith in you. There has been a miscommunication and misunderstanding, which should be removed."

However, Sawant insisted the government or Hazare could not name the judge to probe the matter. "To safeguard my own prestige and dignity, and the honour of the post which I have held so far, I refuse to be on the probe panel," he said.

The government has not yet abandoned efforts to persuade Sawant to do a rethink, official sources said in Mumbai.

The probe came about after a nine-day hunger strike by Hazare, which the noted Gandhian ended on Sunday after the government agreed to most of his demands.

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