An order of the Porbandar Sessions Court staying conviction of Water Resources Minister Babu Bokhiria in an illegal limestone mining case has been challenged at the Gujarat High Court. A single judge Bench of Justice S G Shah adjourned the hearing on the petition till September 2.
Bokhiria and three others Bharat Odedara,Bhima Dula Odedara and Lakshman Bhima Odedara were convicted by a trial court in Porbandar on June 15 in an illegal mining case. The four were sentenced to three years imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000 each was imposed by the court for having done illegal mining of limestone from the lease area of a chemical firm causing it a loss of Rs 54 crore. The complaint in the case was registered by one of the office bearers of the firm,Saurashtra Chemical.
Following his conviction,Bokhiria had moved an application before the Porbandar Sessions Court to stay his conviction contending that not suspending the conviction would cause him irreparable damage. The Sessions Court on July 20 had suspended Bokhirias conviction while considering his position as a Cabinet minister in the state government. Three other convicts in the case had not moved application to suspend their conviction.
Now,RTI activist from Porbandar Dilip Katariya has moved a petition to set aside the Porbandar Sessions Courts order of suspending Bokhirias conviction,contending that the order was wrong and that once the minister has been convicted he has to face the consequences.
In the 2012 Assembly elections,Bokhiria defeated Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia and subsequently bagged a Cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government.