Illegal mining: Gujarat minister files appeal against conviction

Published: 18th June 2013 04:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2013 04:58 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Gujarat water resources minister Babu Bokhiria, who was convicted for illegally mining Rs 54 crore limestone, has filed an appeal challenging his conviction before the sessions court here.

Sessions Judge I B Vaghela, while fixing the hearing on his appeal on July 6, granted bail to Bokhiria till the hearing is pending.

In his appeal, filed through advocate Kanubhai Odedara, Bokhiria also prayed for stay on the three-year sentence awarded to him on June 15 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate here.

Bokhiria, an MLA from Porbandar, and three of his partners - former Congress MP Bharat Odedara, Bhima Dula and Lakshman Odedara - were held guilty in the Rs 54 crore illegal mining of limestone and each of them was sentenced to three years' jail.

The court had also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each of them and had given seven days' time to appeal in higher court.

Bokhiria filed his appeal yesterday while the other three are likely to move the court within a couple of days.

Bokhiria was arrested in 2007 on the basis of a complaint, filed by Umesh Bhavsar - then the manager of Saurashtra Chemical company in 2006, alleging that because of Bokhiria and his partners' illegal mining of limestone, the company had suffered loss of Rs 54 crore.

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