August 7, 2021 6:45:28 pm
Former BJP MP Dinu Solanki and his nephew Shiva Solanki, both of whom were convicted in 2010 murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa, have moved a plea in the Gujarat High Court seeking to quash the FIR filed against them over the kidnap of son of a prosecution witness in the Jethwa murder case.
Solanki and Shiva have also sought that they be made a party to the witness’ plea seeking transfer of investigation of the kidnapping case in 2018 from Una police to CBI.
In July 2019, a special CBI Court in Ahmedabad sentenced ex-BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, Shiva Solanki and five others to life imprisonment for the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa. The accused convicts have appealed against the conviction before the Gujarat HC which remains pending.
Dharmendragiri Balugiri Goswami, a key witness in the case and a resident of Una, was among the 26 witnesses who were re-examined by a special CBI court in Ahmedabad during the trial of Jethwa’s murder. In 2018, Goswami’s son was kidnapped while Goswami was deposing in court, forcing the latter to turn hostile.
This incident was also noted in the final verdict of the special CBI court pronounced in July 2019, with the latter directing that investigating officers in the case — Mukesh Sharma and Satishkumar Chaudhary — carry out a “joint inquiry”. The joint inquiry by the CBI and the Gujarat police had concluded that “prima facie it is established that Dinu Solanki, Shiva Solanki…” and others had committed offences punishable for criminal conspiracy, threatening another person, kidnapping and abduction.
However, subsequent to the joint report, no FIR was registered by the CBI but additional director general of police of state CID crime had directed Una police station to lodge an FIR and the same was registered in March 2020. Goswami has now sought that the Gujarat HC direct for a transfer of the investigation either to CBI or alternatively, to transfer the Una police station FIR investigation to an IPS officer of the rank of IG of Gujarat cadre.
On the other hand, Dinu Solanki has filed a plea seeking quashing of this FIR altogether in June this year. The matter is scheduled for hearing on August 23. However, at the last hearing of August 4, the court of Justice Gita Gopi on the request of Solanki’s lawyer had directed that the matter be listed after the final conclusion of Solanki’s appeal against his conviction. “If there is change of circumstances, the right is reserved to both the parties to move a note for hearing of the matter,” the court had said.
Apart from the quashing petition, Dinu and Shiva Solanki have also moved applications seeking that they be made party to the Goswami’s petition seeking transfer of investigation.
Additionally, the accused convicts have also sought that advocate Anand Yagnik be prevented from representing the witness petitioner “particularly in view of…the (provisions under)…the Bar Council of India Rules.”
Yagnik was a witness in the criminal trial of Amit Jethwa’s murder case and had recused himself from representing Jethwa’s kin at the time.
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