Ahmedabad: The father of a slain RTI activist approached the Gujarat High Court Monday seeking security cover for a special CBI judge conducting the retrial of his son's murder case.
Amit Jethwa, an RTI activist, was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court premises on July 20, 2010, allegedly at the behest of former BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki, apparently for exposing illegal mining activities through numerous RTI pleas.
In his plea Monday, Jethwa's father, Bhikhabhai (62), alleged that the CBI had taken no action on providing security to special CBI judge K M Dave despite then Principal Sessions Judge A R Patel writing a letter to the agency's director in this regard.
"Special Judge KM Dave is conducting trial of sensitive case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa murder case and therefore adequate security should be provided to the judge's residence by paramilitary force," the petition mentioned, citing Judge A R Patel's letter to CBI in June.
Justice RP Dholaria Monday recused himself from the case when Bhikhabhai's plea came up for hearing. The plea is expected to be allotted a new judge soon.
In the petition, Jethwa questioned the CBI and the Gujarat government for not providing police protection to the judge.
The Gujarat High Court had, in June last year, ordered the retrial in the murder case, observing that the trial conducted by the special CBI court was a "mockery of justice".
The retrial was ordered by Justice J B Pardiwala on a petition filed by Bhikhabhai, who had alleged that 105 out of 195 witnesses in Jethwa's murder case had turned hostile and five others had complained of intimidation by Solanki.
Solanki and some others were charged under sections 302 (murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) as well as other offences of the IPC.