BJP ex-MP, 6 others get life term for RTI activist’s murder
A special CBI court today sentenced former BJP MP from Gujarat Dinu Bogha Solanki and six others to life imprisonment for the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa in July 2010.
Jethwa was shot dead from point blank range outside the Gujarat High Court in 2010 after he tried to expose illegal mining activities in the Gir forest region allegedly involving the former MP.The court had pronounced them guilty on July 6 and reserved the order on the quantum of punishment. The other convicts are MP’s nephew Shiva Solanki, Sanjay Chauhan, sharp shooter Shailesh Pandya, Pachan Desai, Udaji Thakore and constable Bahadursinh Vader.
They were charged under Sections 302 of the IPC for murder, 201 for disappearance of evidence of offence, 120-B for criminal conspiracy and Section 25(1) of the Arms Act for illegal possession of arms.Jethwa’s murder had created a countrywide furor because he was among several RTI activists who had to give their lives for exposing corruption in high offices.
In a stinging verdict, the CBI court also ordered legal proceedings to be initiated against 105 of the 195 witnesses, who had turned hostile.
Special CBI Court Judge KM Dave imposed a penalty of over Rs 59 lakh on all seven convicts, including Rs 15 lakh each from Solanki and his nephew Shiva.
Judge Dave directed that Rs 11 lakh from this amount would be given to Jethwa’s family which would include fixed deposits in a national bank worth Rs 5 lakh for his widow and Rs 3 lakh each for the slain RTI activist’s two minor sons.
The Ahmedabad’s Detection of Crime Branch, investigating the case earlier, had not included Solanki, who was then a Lok Sabha member from Junagadh, in any of the two chargesheets filed against the accused.
Bhikabhai Jethwa, father of the deceased, had moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a re-trial.
- RTI activist Amit Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court in 2010 after he tried to expose illegal mining activities in the Gir forest region allegedly involving the former MP
- The court also ordered legal proceedings to be initiated against 105 of the 195 witnesses, who had turned hostile.