Mumbai, Sep 11 (PTI) Former Maharashtra minister Suresh Jain has moved the Bombay High Court challenging his conviction and the seven-year jail term awarded by a trial court in the multi-crore 'Gharkul' housing scam of Jalgaon.

A sessions court in Dhule district had on August 31 convicted Jain, a former Shiv Sena leader, and 47 others, including another former state minister Gulabrao Deokar and ex-municipal councillors and officials, for irregularities in the Rs 29-crore housing project.

Jain, who was minister of home in the 1990s (when the BJP-Sena alliance was in power in the state), was sentenced to seven years in jail by the sessions court which also directed him to pay a hefty fine of Rs 100 crore.

All the convicts were taken into custody on the same day.

On September 8, Jain, through his lawyer Subhash Jadhav, filed an appeal in the high court challenging the order of conviction.

Jain, in his plea, also sought suspension of sentence and pleaded for release from jail pending hearing on the appeal.

A prominent politician from Jalgaon in North Maharashtra, Jain was arrested in March 2012. He spent over a year in jail before securing bail from the Supreme Court.

Deokar, who was in the NCP, was arrested in May 2012. He spent three years in jail before securing bail.

He was sentenced to jail for five years and was a member of the Jalgaon Municipal Council from 1995 and 2000.

They were accused of favouring a builder and committing irregularities in implementing 'Gharkul', a housing project.

As per case details, Jain had favoured Khandesh Builders, which was given a contract to build tenements under the Gharkul scheme.

Pravin Gedam, a former municipal commissioner of Jalgaon, had registered a complaint in this regard in February 2006.

Of the 5,000 houses that were to be developed on the outskirts of Jalgaon under the scheme, only 1,500 were completed.

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