RTI activist killing: HC rejects accused ex-BJP MP's plea

RTI activist killing: HC rejects accused ex-BJP MP's plea

ANI file photo for representation.

The Gujarat High Court has rejected a petition of former BJP MP Dinu Solanki, accused in the killing of RTI activist Amit Jethwa, against a special CBI court's decision to recall six witnesses for a re-examination in the case.

Justice J B Pardiwala yesterday rejected the petition moved by Solanki against the suo motu (on its own) decision of special CBI court judge K M Dave to recall the six witnesses.

These six persons are among the 26 witnesses who were re-examined by the court on Supreme Court's directions.

The court had sought to recall the six witnesses, including former IPS officer Raghavendra Vatsa, who had investigated the case, to clarify doubts about the mobile phone locations of all the accused and ownership of vehicle used in committing the crime.

Solanki had objected to it, saying the CBI judge's decision to recall six witnesses was against the Supreme Court mandate, and that such a decision required the apex court's approval.

The CBI earlier told the high court that the special court has powers under section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to recall witnesses through suo motu summons.

The apex court had ordered a re-examination of 26 witnesses after the CBI told the court that 105 out of 195 witnesses in the case had turned hostile.

Jethwa, an RTI activist, was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010, allegedly at the behest of then MP Solanki for exposing the illegal mining through numerous RTI applications.

Jethwa had filed a PIL in the high court against illegal mining in the Gir forest, known for its rich habitat of lions.

The high court had asked the CBI to re-investigate the killing after Jethwa's father approached the court expressing his dissatisfaction over the Gujarat police's probe in the case.