Amit Jethwa murder: SC turns down victim father’s plea, asks HC to dispose of appeal soon

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down the prayer to stay the operation of Gujarat High Court’s order suspending life sentence to former BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki, convicted in the July 2010 murder of RTI activist Amti Jethwa.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar disposed of the SLP filed by Jethwa’s father Bhikhalal Jethva, with the direction that appeals pending before the High Court against the conviction of the accused be heard and decided expeditiously, and not later than December 2022, advocate Abhimanue Shreshtra, who appeared for the petitioner, said.

Shreshtra said he had brought some observations in the High Court order, which the petitioner felt would touch on the merits of the case, to the notice of Supreme Court.

The bench, also comprising Justice C T Ravikumar, said the observations would not come in the way of final adjudication of the case, he added. A special CBI court in Ahmedabad had sentenced the former MP and six others to rigorous imprisonment for life in connection with the case on July 11, 2019.

Solanki subsequently moved an application before the High Court, seeking suspension of the sentence, pending his appeal against the conviction order, which was allowed by High Court.

While suspending Solanki’s sentence, the High Court also recorded, “In totality, this court finds that on facts the conviction recorded by the CBI court is prima facie, principally based on assumptions and presumptions and the same is unsustainable qua the applicant.”

Appealing against this, Bhikhalal Jethva pointed out that Solanki was awarded a sentence to undergo life imprisonment and fine of Rs 15 lakh. The plea contended that “the High Court in the entire order did not even take note of the fact that the said accused has remained in custody merely for about 2 years”.

The plea said thast “it is settled that while considering an application for suspension of sentence, the appellate court is only to examine if there is such patent infirmity in the order of conviction that renders the order of conviction prima facie erroneous. Where there is evidence that has been considered by the trial court, it is not open to a court considering application under Section 389 to reassess and/or re-analyse the same evidence and take a different view, to suspend the execution of the sentence and release the convict on bail.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button