Illegal mining case: HC adjourns hearing on petition against Babu BokhiriyaEXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

The Gujarat High Court Wednesday adjourned hearing on a petition that demands addition of provisions of Explosives Act against Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiriya in connection with a 2006-07 case of illegal mining in Porbandar district. A single-judge bench of Justice K M Thaker is hearing the petition and has kept further hearing on February 6.

Bokhiriya is one of the four accused and is out on bail. The other accused are gangster Bhima Dula Odedara, his son Lakhman Odedara and Bharat Odedara. They are accused of illegal mining of limestone worth Rs 54 crore.

The petition has been moved by one Dilip Katariya, an RTI activist. His lawyer V H Kanara said that police have submitted chargesheet against the accused before the concerned magisterial court in Porbandar.

"However, the chargesheet does not include charges under the Explosives Act which makes the offence very serious, although, there is evidence to add this section against the accused," Kanara said, adding that they have also sought further investigation under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In 2007, Bokhiriya was arrested in the case which scuttled his prospects of getting a ticket for Assembly polls. In 2012, he got ticket for Porbandar and defeated state Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia.

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