Gujarat High Court today directed the state Minister for Agriculture, Water Resources and Animal Husbandry Babu Bokhiria to file an affidavit in reply to a petition alleging that he has amassed a huge wealth by illegitimate means.
The bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala asked the minister to file affidavit by July 1.
Porbandar-based activist Natwar Karavadra had filed the PIL last year. The HC had earlier issued notices to the minister and the state government, but Bokhiria today sought time to file the affidavit.
Petition accuses him of being involved in land grabbing and various other illegal activities. It alleges that Bokhiria purchased huge tracts of land in the Porbandar district in his name and in the name of his relatives, and owns 3,000 bighas of land.
It also alleges that he runs an organised crime syndicate through his cousin, and was also involved in illegal mining rackets along the coastal belt.
Bokhiria, currently a minister in Anandi Patel-led government, was also a part of Narendra Modi-led ministry when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Last year, Bokhiria was sentenced to three years’ jail term by the magistrate’s court in Porbandar in an illegal limestone mining case, but the sessions court stayed the conviction.