A special CBI court on July 11 sentenced former BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki and six others to life imprisonment in the murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa. The court of Judge KM Dave held that the murder was a pre-meditated act and held Dinu Solanki, his nephew Shiva Solanki and four others guilty of criminal conspiracy and murder.
The court also announced compensation of Rs 11 lakh to the family of Amit Jethwa who was shot in front of the High Court in 2010. This would include fixed deposit in a national bank worth Rs 5 lakh for Jethwa’s wife and Rs 3 lakh each for his two children.
The court has also ordered action against 38 witnesses who had turned hostile during the trial of the case.
Earlier, the court had found all the accused – Dinu Solanki, Shiva Solanki, Sanjay Chauhan, Sailesh Pandya, Pachan Desai, Udaiji Thakor and police constable Bahadursinh Vader guilty under sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 120B ( criminal conspiracy to commit and offence) of the Indian Penal Code and 25(1) of Arms Act (illegal possession of arms or ammunition).
Also read: Amit Jethwa Murder: After Decade-long Legal Battle, Family Says Justice Delivered
The trial of Amit Jethwa murder case has seen many twists and turns through a long legal battle that his family fought in the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court.
Initially, the murder case was investigated by the Ahmedabad Detection Crime Branch (DCB) which chargesheeted six people but gave a clean chit to Dinu Solanki. Thereafter, Bhikhabhai, Amit’s father, moved to the High Court, which ordered a CBI investigation. Following this, Solanki was arrested from Delhi and chargesheeted in the case in 2013.
Subsequently, CBI accused Solanki as the prime accused and conspirator.
As the trial began, 105 out of 195 witnesses turned hostile. Bhikhabhai moved to High Court seeking fresh trial on ground that majority of witnesses had turned hostile and complained of receiving threats. The High Court ordered a fresh trial and also ordered to change the special CBI judge Dinesh Patel who was residing over the case.
In response, Dinu Solanki moved to the Supreme Court challenging the Gujarat High Court’s order of retrial. On October 30, 2017, the apex court cancelled Solanki’s bail ordering him to surrender immediately until examination of eight key witnesses was done. It also reinstated the High Court’s order of retrial and allowed re-examination of 26 other witnesses.
Noticeably, Judge KM Dave had sought round the clock protection for himself and his family throughout the case, citing the sensitivity of the matter. Judge Dave was subsequently granted the protection.
Also read: Ex-BJP MP Dinu Solanki Guilty of Killing RTI Activist Amit Jethwa