Convicted for the murder of an RTI activist Amit Jethwa, former BJP MP Dinu Solanki was granted five days of temporary bail by the Gujarat High Court (HC), on Wednesday, owing to the death of his Covid positive nephew at Sterling Hospital in Ahmedabad.
Earlier in September, Solanki had moved court seeking that he be released on temporary bail of 30 days owing to 14 of his family members testing positive for Covid-19. However, the application was withdrawn following a video conferencing arrangement made with his family, pursuant to a court order.
Heard by a division bench headed by Justice Sonia Gokani, convict Solanki submitted that his 50-year-old nephew succumbed to the disease on September 20 after a prolonged battle with Covid-19. The deceased’s father had passed away long ago and thus, Solanki wanted to shoulder the post-death rituals scheduled from October 2 to 4.
The court granted him five days of temporary bail against the 14 days that he had sought. The court also directed that the convict Solanki shall be escorted or accompanied by a team of police officials, consisting of one police sub-inspector, one head constable and two constables, all throughout his release, at 50% costs borne by the state government. He has also been directed to deposit an amount of two lakh rupees as well as Rs 15,000 as personal bond. The grant of temporary bail is subject to him testing negative for Covid-19.
Prior to that, Solanki was released on temporary bail for four days in July for performing the post-death rituals of his elder sister. In February, he was on four days of temporary bail for attending three marriages in his family.
A special CBI court in July last year had found seven guilty, including Dinu Solanki, under IPC Sections 302 (Murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 120 (b) (Criminal conspiracy to commit an offence). Dinu was sentenced to life imprisonment, subsequent to which he had filed an appeal against his conviction in November 2019.
In 2010, Amit Jethwa had uncovered Dinu Solanki’s – then BJP MP from Junagadh – involvement in illegal mining within a radius of five kms from the boundary of Gir Sanctuary area, through an RTI that he had filed. He had filed a special civil application in the High Court in this regard. On July 20, 2010, Jethwa was shot dead by two persons opposite the HC.
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