CBI hoodwinking in Jethwa murder probe

New Delhi, 12 November 2013

The Supreme Court on Monday said the CBI was “hoodwinking” the procedure in its investigation into the murder of RTI activist Amit Bhikabhai Jethwa in which Gujarat BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki was arrested after being summoned as a witness.

“You are hoodwinking,” a bench comprising justices S S Nijjar and F M I Kalifulla said after CBI counsel maintained that Solanki, who was called for questioning here, was arrested as there must have been material against him. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the MP, said that he was called for questioning and arrested when his plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order for the CBI probe was pending in the apex court.

Further, he submitted that Solanki has also sought quashing of the summon to appear as witness in the case. He said the sitting MP is in CBI custody for six days and he should be released from the hands of the agency and sent to judicial custody. However, the bench said it will hear the matter and seek CBI’s stand on Friday. The apex court in March had said, “The CBI may continue with its investigation, as directed, and complete such investigation, but the result of the investigation should be kept in a sealed cover.” A Delhi court on November 6 had granted a two-day transit remand to CBI to take the arrested BJP MP to Ahmedabad in connection with murder of Jethwa who had waged a crusade against illegal mining in Gir Forest, home of Asiatic lions. Solanki, Lok Sabha member from Junagadh, was arrested on November 5 after he joined the investigation at CBI headquarters. CBI has booked Solanki under Sections 120 B read with 302 IPC for conspiring to murder Jethwa in July 2010. The agency alleged that he was “actively involved” in the conspiracy and he was arrested “after his answers were not satisfactory during the investigation and pointed towards his involvement in the crime”.

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