"Truth Buried Forever": Gujarat HC Acquits Ex-BJP MP Dinu Solanki, 6 Others in Murder of RTI Activist Amit Jethwa
Anadi Tewari (Bar  and  Bench) 06 May 2024
The Gujarat High Court on Monday acquitted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s former member of Parliament (MP) Dinu Solanki and six others in the murder of environmentalist and right to information activist Amit Jethwa. He was active in the Gir Forest area near Junagadh in Gujarat.
A bench of justice AS Supehia and justice Vimal K Vyas pronounced the judgement. "Satyamev Jayate. Truth must triumph. The investigation right from the beginning appears to be a clear eyewash," the court said while acquitting the appellants, including Mr Solanki.
In its judgement, the court criticised the manner in which the case was handled by the police as well as the trial court.
All efforts were made to ensure that the truth stayed buried, the High Court remarked.
"Considering the timing of the arrival of the police officials to the scene of incident, it is appalling and equally astounding to see that the assailants were not apprehended and they escaped. This speaks volumes of the quick response and rapidness to nab the assailants. All efforts are made to ensure that the truth is buried forever. The perpetrators have succeeded in doing so ... We reiterate that the entire investigation from the very start seems to be prejudiced. Prosecution has failed to secure the confidence of the witnesses. Trial Court on a preconceived notion hasn't analysed the evidence properly. Trial Court was duty bound to apply the law as written but it has failed to do so and has applied the same as per its instincts. Accordingly, we set aside the Trial Court judgment of July 11, 2019 which convicted the present appellants. We acquit the present appellants," the HC said.
Amit Jethwa was known for having pursued several queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and for filing cases on matters concerning illegal mining.
He was shot dead by two assailants on a motorbike in July 2010 outside the gates of the Gujarat HC.
Notably, around a month before his murder, he had filed a petition before the high court regarding allegations of illegal mining around Gir forest.
In this regard, it had been reported that Mr Jethwa also produced documents to show that Mr Solanki (then an MP) was involved in illegal mining activities.
The high court eventually ordered a probe by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) in 2012. Mr Solanki and his nephew Shiva were among those convicted to life imprisonment in this murder case by a special court CBI in 2019.
This verdict has now been overturned by the high court, which opined that the trial court had proceeded on pre-determined notions of guilt.
"Even the trial court has conducted the trial proceedings with the pre-determined notion of conviction," the HC said.
Pragna Mankodi
1 month ago
The reader is confused about the presentation of the case as reported in the magazine. If the police and the trial court have made mistakes, why can\'t suitable disciplinary actions be initiated against the erring officials of the police department and the judiciary? The govt must take appropriate steps to deliver the justice to the deceased and his kind.
No Denial under RTI because Information Sought Is Voluminous: Delhi HC to Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
Vinita Deshmukh, 02 May 2024
The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), a financial educational institute under the ministry of commerce, has been ordered by the Delhi High Court last week to comply with the central information commissioner (CIC)’s order of...
Information Commissioner Brings MP Cooperative Societies Running PDS Ration Shops under the Ambit of RTI
Vinita Deshmukh, 25 April 2024
Many of the ration shops which provide food grains from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to the poor under the public distribution system (PDS) are run by cooperative societies, the most significant example being Tamil Nadu, which...
Election Commission Does Not Maintain Records of Violations of Model Code of Conduct!
Vinita Deshmukh, 20 April 2024
Recently, the central information commission (CIC) has shown its 'utmost displeasure' at the election commission of India (ECI) for not responding to an RTI request on the status of representations made by several eminent...
Free Helpline
Legal Credit