Rajkot: A sitting Congress MLA from Talala Bhagabhai Barad was on Friday sentenced to two year nine months in prison after a local court in Sutrapada in Gir Somnath district found him guilt of being involved in illegal limestone case of 1995.
Judicial magistrate firs class Sutrapada SL Mehta also imposed a fine of Rs2,500 on the legislator. However, the magistrate stayed the execution of order for 30 days for Barad to file appeal in higher court. Another accused in the case had died during course of trial.

According to case details, in 1995 Barad was accused of illegal mining limestone from pastoral (gauchar) land in Sutrapada. The then royalty inspector M K Maru had registered the FIR with Sutrapada police accusing Barad of illegal mining. According to the FIR, Barad and his aide had extracted 2,83,525 metric tonne limestone valued Rs 2.83 crore.

Assistant public prosecutor D J Trivedi told TOI, “The accused Barad had used the lease granted to one Jetha Devalia, for mining in Pikhor village to illegally mine limestone. Mining on pastoral land is prohibited under law. The accused were found to be supplying limestone to GHCL Ltd.”

The prosecution submitted 23 witnesses and 40 documentary evidences before the court in support of their case.

The court after evaluating the evidences convicted Barad under IPC section 379. After pronouncement of judgement Barad, who was present in the court, requested court to give him one month time to challenge the order in sessions court. The magistrate stayed the execution of the order for 30 days for Barad to appeal in higher court.

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