Rajkot court reserves order on BJP leader Solanki’s bail plea till March 24
BJP leader Narendra Solanki. (Source: Express Photo)
BJP leader Narendra Solanki failed to get immediate protection form arrest in the case of attempt to murder a city-based property dealer as District and Sessions Court of Rajkot on Wednesday reserved its order on his anticipatory bail plea till March 24.
Solanki had moved the court last Thursday seeking anticipatory bail in connection with alleged attempt to murder property dealer Jagdish Rathod and the matter came up for hearing in the court of additional sessions judge GM Damodara on Wednesday.
Appearing for Solanki, senior advocate Niranjan Daftari said prima facie, the applicant was not involved in the case. “Police do not have evidence to prove that Solanki was part of any criminal conspiracy to attack Rathod. The original complaint does name Solanki as a suspect and Rathod’s wife Damyanti, who is complainant and also a BJP corporator form Ward number 22 of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), only raised suspicion that Solanki was behind the attack only in her further statement,” Daftari argued.
The senior advocate further submitted that his client should not be subjected to any prejudice just because he had turned a sanyasia yea-and-half ago. “Police have relied on statement given by arrested that they acted at the behest of Solanki to attack Rathod. But during primary interrogation, the accused had not named our client and had instead said that they attacked Rathod over payment of money for a plot of land. On top of all this, police have no witness telling that three persons arrested in the case were real assailants,” pleaded Daftari.
However, assistant public prosecutor (APP) Rakshit Kalola refuted arguments of Daftari.
“Call detail records (CDR) of arrested accused Vikram Rabari and Solanki prove that the BJP leader had talked to the accused 43 times in 48 hours after the crime was committed on March 3. CDR also point that prime Rabari was at Aapa Giga no Otlo, Solanki’s ashram near Chotila on the preceding night of the crime,” stated Kalola.
The APP further said that CDR had also confirmed presence of Rabari on Kotharia road where the alleged crime had been committed and that he was also caught in CCTV camera. The prosecutor added that Rathod, once business partner of Solanki, had posted comments against the BJP leader on his social networking site page and that had enraged the former mayor of Rajkot. Reading out the comments from the affidavit filed by investigating officer (IO), Kalola said, “There is no need to become a saint. You (Solanki) have looted the community which promoted you. You were a tapori yesterday and you are one even today… One does not become virtuous just by wearing dhoti (loincloth) and strings of beads… No one should bow down to a newly turned bava…”
The APP said these comments unsettled Solanki and therefore he asked his devotee Rabari to “break Rathod’s legs.” He also drew attention of the court that Solanki had gone to Bhaktinagar police station with a group of 200 men after Rabari and two others were arrested and asked police why they were taking action against Rabari.
However, Daftari defended saying police were subjecting Rabari to maltreatment and that he was coerced into giving the statement naming Solanki.
But Kalola urged the court not to give Solanki protection against arrest since the applicant was an influential politician and that witnesses were not coming forward fearing retaliation. He added that if Solanki were given anticipatory bail, many facts related to the case may never come to the light. He also pointed out that in last 19 years Solanki had been booked in 10 cases and that he cannot be allowed to hide behind garb of sanyasi.
Incidentally, 51-year-old Solanki had resigned as corporator of RMC ward number 19 on March 9 after his name cropped up in the investigation.
After hearing arguments, judge Damodara reserved his order on the application till March 24.
Source:: Indian Express