The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to BJP MP Dinubhai Solanki, who is an accused in the murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethava. The court, however, rejected a challenge by Solanki and the Gujarat government against transfer of investigation to the CBI from the state police.
The court also made it clear that he was being granted bail not because he was a lawmaker or that incarceration of Solanki would prevent him from performing his duties either in Parliament or in his constituency.
“No special treatment can be given to him simply on the ground that he is a sitting Member of Parliament. However, keeping in view the fact that the CBI has submitted the supplementary chargesheet and that the trial is likely to take a long time, we deem it appropriate to enlarge him on bail,” said a Bench led by Justice S S Nijjar. It also laid down several conditions on him.
Jethava, who was shot dead on July 20, 2010 outside the Gujarat High Court, was an RTI and environment activist. He had filed numerous RTI applications and a PIL against illegal mining in Gir forest region and the Gujarat Police had ruled out any involvement of Solanki in the murder.
The investigation of the case was transferred to the CBI after the victim’s father had moved the High Court which had observed that the Gujarat Police authority is not free from doubt and to instill confidence in the public, it would be appropriate to transfer the investigation to the CBI.
Gujarat Police had arrested six persons, including Shiva Solanki, nephew of the BJP MP, and sharp shooter Sailesh Pandya who had allegedly shot at Jethava.