MeraNews Network, Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected the pleas of former Gujarat ministers Dileep Sanghani and Parshottam Solanki to quash the complaints filed against them for their alleged involvement in the Rs 400 crore fisheries scam during the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. Both ministers will be now tried at the Gandhinagar district court.
In 2008, Solanki, the then Minister of State for Fisheries, had granted fishing contracts of 58 reservoirs to his favourable parties without following the due auctioning process. According to a government resolution of 2004, it is mandatory for the state ministry to call for tenders before awarding the licences. Sanghani was the then agriculture minister of Gujarat.
The matter had first come to light when a Banaskantha-based fishing contractor Ishaq Maradia, who was denied of a fishing contract at one of the state reservoirs, approached the Gujarat HC alleging the state government didn’t follow the rules and that Solanki had caused losses worth Rs 400 crore to the state by granting fishing licences to his favourite parties.
An inquiry report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in connection to this named these leaders and termed Solanki guilty of changing the policy despite not being competent to do so and could be booked under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The Gandhinagar district court took cognizance of the matter and issues summons to the ministers. Both Solanki and Sanghani had moved Gujarat HC seeking quashing of the complaint, but their petition was rejected on the grounds that the lower court had aptly issued notices to the accused as there was enough material against them to be tried in the court and that the HC would not interfere in the proceedings.