In 2013, the then Cabinet Minister of Gujarat Babu Bokhiria was convicted and sentenced to three years jail in a ₹54 crore mineral theft case, but he remained a Minister even after the conviction by a local Porbandar court.
Mr. Bokhiria was the Water Resources Minister at that time. He was a key accused in an illegal mining of limestone in Porbandar district.
The court had convicted him and others in June 2013. However, it may be noted that the apex court ruling regarding disqualification of elected representatives after their conviction and sentencing, came a month later in July 2013.
The then Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela had demanded Mr. Bokhiria’s resignation from the Cabinet, immediately after the court had pronounced its order.
In 2006, the manager of Saurashtra Chemical Company Umesh Bhavsar had registered a complaint against Mr. Bokhiria and others, alleging that they had illegally mined limestone from the land where the company holds mining rights.
Mr. Bokhiria had subsequently obtained a stay over the conviction and in November 2014, he was acquitted by the sessions court.
“In 2013, Babubhai was a Cabinet Minister in the government of Narendra Modi as CM, who had not asked Bokhiria to resign after the court’s ruling,” said Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia, who had lost to Mr. Bokhiria in the 2012 Assembly polls. But, in the recent Assembly polls of 2022, Mr. Modhvadia defeated Mr. Bokhiria.