Rajkot: In a major relief for Gujarat Agriculture minister Babu Bokhiria, the Porbandar Sessions Court Monday overturned his conviction by a lower court in 2013, and acquitted him in a case pertaining to illegal mining of limestone worth Rs 54 crore.
Hearing the case today, Additional Sessions judge M V Zala passed an order to acquit Bokhiria and three others-- Bharat Odedara, Laxman Bhima and Bhima Dula-- from the charges framed against them in connection with illegal mining of limestone in Porbandar.
The case dates back to 2006 when one Umesh Bhavsar, manager of Saurashtra Chemical Company, had registered a complaint against Bokhiria and others alleging that they had illegally mined limestone from the land where the company holds mining rights.
"Today, my client Babu Bokhiria and three others were acquitted by additional sessions judge M V Zala in the case pertaining to limestone theft," said Bokhiria's lawyer Anil Desai.
Earlier on 15th June, 2013, Bokhiria, Odedara and two others were convicted for three years by Chief Judicial Magistrate's court in Porbandar.
Later, Porbandar sessions court stayed their conviction till it hears the appeal of Bokhiria.
This is the second big relief for Bokhiria, as the Gujarat High Court during September 2014 dismissed a plea challenging the stay granted by Porbandar sessions court on his conviction.
Bokhiria had upstaged Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia in 2012 Porbandar assembly election to win a Cabinet berth in the erstwhile Narendra Modi led state government.
Now, in the government of new chief minister Anandiben Patel, he is the minister of agriculture and water resources.