The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition moved by former BJP parliamentarian Dinu Bogha Solanki seeking discharge from the 2010 murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethva. The court is likely to pronounce the verdict on Monday.
Solanki, former MP from Junagadh, approached the High Court, challenging the order of the special CBI court which rejected his discharge plea on the ground that there was sufficient evidence against him for trial. However, Solanki claimed that inclusion of his name in the case was “politically motivated”.
Solanki was arrested on November 5, 2013, and was chargesheeted under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and Section 320 (murder) of the IPC. He is currently on regular bail.
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CBI counsel R C Kodekar opposed the discharge petition, saying that there was enough evidence proving Solanki’s involvement. Kodekar read out the contents of the chargesheet which has stated, “.Solanki hatched a criminal conspiracy with accused Bahadursinh Dhiruba Vadher and Pratapbhai alias Shivabhai Solanki (nephew of Solanki) at his farmhouse in Harmadiya village two-three months prior to the murder of Amit Jethva. It was revealed that accused Bahadursinh Vadher was very close to accused Dinu Solanki.” The CBI investigation has established that call data record revealed Solanki and Vadher were in constant touch before and after the murder. According to the chargesheet, on July 20, 2010, when Jethva was shot dead, four SMSes originated from a cellphone reportedly used by Solanki and were sent to Vadher barely minutes before the murder took place.
Kodekar argued that Solanki had a strong motive behind hatching conspiracy to murder Jethva since “the deceased (Jethva) started a crusade against personal and commercial activities of Solanki and his nephew”.
Jethva through his RTIs was busting the former MP’s “illegal” mining activities. He had also filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court on June 28, 2010, against illegal mining. According to the CBI, the High Court issued notice to Solanki and his nephew on July 19 and the next day Jethva was killed. This case was initially investigated by Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) that chargesheeted five accused — Bahadursinh Vadher (police constable), Shiva Solanki, Salesh Pandya, a sharp shooter, Udaji Thakor and Panchan. The DCB gave a clean chit to Solanki.