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Petition filed against Anna Hazare’s trusts


Pune (Maharashtra) : Right to information (RTI) activist and social worker Hemant Patil Saturday filed a petition in the Bombay High Court alleging irregularities in various trusts run by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

Patil, president of the Rashtriya Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jana Shakti, has in his public interest litigation (PIL) sought a probe into Hazare’s trusts by the Income Tax department.

“It appears that the Hind Swaraj Trust (of Hazare) is not functioning in accordance with law,” Patil said in the PIL.

He alleged that the trust and trustees were involved in malpractices and had siphoned away huge funds given to them by people by way of donations and by making misrepresentations.

Patil claimed that the trust had taken a loan of Rs.500,000 from the Firodia Trust, but no explanation on it has been given so far.

Patil said one of the trustees, T.S. Bharde, died in 2007 but the charity commissioner’s office was not informed.

The petitioner contended that though Hazare has stated in public that he did not have any bank accounts or property, but during his visits to different parts of the country he stayed in luxury hotels and moved around in cars.

The PIL has named as parties the Hind Swaraj Trust, Pune, the Maharashtra government, the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai, and the Income Tax commissioner, among others.