Former Maharashtra minister Suresh Jain, arrested in connection with the Gharkul Housing Scheme scam, was Friday granted bail by the Supreme Court.
A bench of Justice S A Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan granted bail to Jain, a minister for housing during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule in the 1990s, after considering that he had served more than four-and-a-half years in jail.
Jain was arrested in 2012 for his involvement in a housing scam in Jalgaon in 1997.
Jain had control over the Jalgaon Municipal Council, which came up with a scheme of building 11,424 low-cost houses for the poor.
The complaint against Jain and 52 others alleges that a loan was taken for the project on forged documents and the money was passed on to an enterprise, Khandesh Builders, which operated from the house of Jain himself.
Jain’s bail is likely to spice up the political scene in Jalgaon district, which senior BJP leader and former minister Eknath Khadse is trying to turn it into his own fiefdom.
Jain, a known party-hopper, has been elected under the ticket of almost all major political parties in the state. Known to make powerful enemies such as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, he has a string grip on Jalgaon, a city of 5 lakh known globally for its bananas and gold market.