Strongly criticising Gujarat police for its investigation in the 2010 murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe in the case.
The division bench of Justices D H Vaghela and J C Upadhayay conceded the demand of activist's father Bhikabhai Jethwa for a CBI probe and asked the central agency to complete further investigation in the case, preferably within six months.
A Right to Information (RTI) activist, Jethwa, who had filed numerous RTI applications and a PIL against illegal mining in Gir forest region, was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010.
The court observed that investigation by the Gujarat police in the Jethwa murder case was far from satisfactory and to instill the confidence and sense of justice in the probe, the court is compelled to transfer it in the hands of CBI.
The court asked the CBI to carry forward further investigation and directed all officers who were involved in the probe so far to cooperate with the agency.
The court also asked the earlier investigating officer to provide all probe-related papers to the CBI within 10 days.
After the pronouncement of the judgement, the government pleader requested for a stay of three weeks to challenge the order in the higher forum, but it was rejected by the court.
Bhikabhai had approached the High Court saying that the state police had not properly investigated the case.
He had alleged that Junagadh BJP MP Dinu Solanki was behind the murder but the state government was shielding him.
In its investigation, Gujarat police had given a clean chit to Solanki.