|P. C. Solanki
|Winning the conviction on behalf of a 16-year-old girl against Asaram Bapu in a rape case on 25 April 2018
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 172 cm
in meters- 1.72 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Salt & Pepper (dyed black)
|Date of Birth
|Age (as of 2023)
|Jodhpur City, Rajasthan, India
|Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
|Central School (now known as K.V. No.1 Air Force School, Jodhpur)
|Jai Narayan Vyas University (JNVU), Jodhpur
• LL.M. Poonam Chand Solanki - Facebook
|Darzi (tailor) Deccan Chronicle
|Relationships & More
|Name Not Known
|He has a son.
|Father- Shiv Ram Solanki (Kheraj Ram Solanki) (former railway mechanic)
Mother- Aichuki Devi
|He has three sisters.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Poonam Chand Solanki
- Poonam Chand Solanki is an Indian advocate, who is associated with the Bar Council of Rajasthan since 1996. He fought the 2013 Asaram Bapu Rape Case on behalf of the minor girl in the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur.
- Solanki grew up in a poverty-stricken family in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Despite being financially weak, his parents ensured that Solanki and his three sisters received a good education.
- Following his post-graduation, Solanki enrolled with the Bar Council of Rajasthan in 1996.
- Subsequently, he began practising law at a sessions court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He took up several cases.
- In 2002, Yashvardhan filed a PIL in the Rajasthan High Court against the immersion of Lord Ganesha’s idols (made up of Plaster of Paris) in the Gulab Sagar Lake near the historic Ghantaghar in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Arguing that the immersion of idols in the lake led to water pollution, resulting in the death of thousands of fish, Poonam Chand requested the judge to impose a ban on it. The petition was held in his favour. Later, she started receiving threats from the Shiv Sena and other Hindu outfits in this matter.
- In his career spanning more than two decades, Solanki has fought various cases in trial courts, session courts, high courts, and the Supreme Court.
- In 2013, Asaram Bapu was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl from Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh and a case was registered against Asaram in the Rajasthan High Court on 29 November 2013 by the victim’s parents. According to some sources, the girl’s parents were ardent followers of the self-styled godman Asaram before the incident came to light. Once, during their visit to Asaram Bapu’s Ashram one of Asaram’s disciples told the victim’s parents that she was possessed by an evil spirit and they should visit Asaram and have her exorcised. When the girl and her parents went to meet Asaram, he raped the girl in the name of providing treatment to her. The girl’s parents tried several lawyers before approaching Poonam Chand Solanki for the case in January 2014 as they were not satisfied with the initial progress in the case. In an interview, while talking about the same, Poonam Chand said,
They requested me to take on the case but said they did not have any money to pay my fee. That did not matter to me at all. After hearing them out, I became determined to get justice. Fighting cases is my livelihood but there comes a time in life when a cause becomes more important than need. I fought this case for justice and truth.”
- Although several lawyers were charging enormous sums to take up the case of the minor girl, Poonam Chand Solanki, on learning about the financial condition of the family, agreed to fight the case for free. Talking about it in an interview, Solanki said,
I didn’t charge a single penny as fees to fight the case. So far as expenses part is concerned, that was given to me… I went to Delhi eight times. So, whatever charges were related to that, I gave that details to them. I had to go to Supreme Court on short notice. In High Court, whatever clerk charge was there, of taking certified copies, In trial Court too, there were many certified copies, it was almost 7000 – 8000. All that money was there. Otherwise, by way of fees, I didn’t charge a single penny.”
- During the proceedings of the case, Asaram tried to push Solanki away from the case by offering him crores of rupees. However, Solanky stood unshakably strong.
- When Asaram failed to lure Solanki with the money, he, through his henchmen, gave several death threats to Solanki. Poonam Chand still remained unaffected. Not just Solanki, but every person who stood against Asaram in the case including the victim, investigating police officers, and even judges received threats from Asaram. Around 9 key prosecution witnesses were attacked by Asaram’s men, one was stabbed outside the court (went missing later), and three were murdered. In an interview, when asked if he too received any threats from Asaram, Solanki said,
Yes, threats were there. They wanted to allure me. Everything was there but nothing affected me because I was simply focusing upon the matter… Those people used to come, several people used to say, used to do. Now, what figure someone may say. But in fact, I was not concerned with all that. I was simply concerned with the matter and just to proceed in consonance with provisions of law.”
- Solanki did not shy away from facing legal stalwarts including Ram Jethmalani, Salman Khurshid, Subramanian Swamy, and KTS Tulsi who defended Asaram in the case. He was the only advocate who fought on behalf of the minor girl against Asaram’s 14 lawyers. In an interview, while talking about his battle with several high-profile lawyers in the courtroom, Poonam Chand said,
Yes, of course, Ram Jethmalani ji appeared to argue Asaram’s bail application under section 4(39) CrPC before Honourable High Court, Subramaniam Swamy appeared for arguing his bail application before Trial Court under section 4(39), then KTS Tulsi appeared before Trial Court challenging the amendment of Special PP on the ground that his name is not notified in the gazette…”
- In a media conversation, while sharing an anecdote from the case, Solanki said that Jethmalani stepped back from the case when Solanki introduced him to section 27 of the POCSO ACT. Reportedly, Jethmalani argued how can the rape victim go for a medical examination before the FIR was registered in the matter to which Solanki replied that Jethmalani must not have gone through the POCSO Act or had overlooked section 27. Solanki’s reply shocked Jethmalani, who dropped the case in between.
- After Jethmalani, Subramanian Swamy, who was not a lawyer but was authorised by the Supreme Court of India and high courts to argue the cases, defended Asaram. Upon his entry into the case, Swamy boasted of rooting out several scams and toppling several governments. However, he was stunned when Solanki argued his bail plea for Asaram in the court, citing the HS Rastogi case. Solanki said before the court that as per the rulings in the HS Rastogi case, Asaram did not inform the court about Swamy pleading his bail application. He added,
What if the court rejected the bail application and Asaram claimed the next day that he had not authorised Swamy to argue his bail petition?”
Following Solanki’s argument, Asaram was immediately rushed to the court from jail to submit an application in court. Solanki was left bewildered when the court rejected Asaram Bapu’s bail plea. Losing the first bail petition (according to Swamy) in his life, Swamy made an abrupt exit from the case and never returned back despite promising Asaram that he would.
- When Asaram’s lawyer Salman Khursheed (former Union Minister of India) sought bail for Asaram in the court citing a serious illness, Solanki called Khursheed’s bluff by convincing the court to form a medical board to ascertain the medical condition of Asaram. After the board stated that Asaram was medically fit, his bail petition was rejected in court.
- Solanki’s efforts ensured that the final judgement of the case was delivered in favour of the minor girl, holding Asaram and two of his aids, Shilpi, the warden of the Gurukul, and Sharad, the director of Gurukul, guilty in the case.
- When he is not fighting cases, Poonam Chand loves to write books and teach children. He has penned several law books.
- He draws inspiration from the former Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Bhagwati Prasad Sharma.
- On 23 May 2023, a biopic titled Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai based on the life of Poonam Chand Solanki was released on ZEE5. Helmed by Apoorv Singh Karki and penned by Deepak Kingrani, the film starred Manoj Bajpayee in the lead role. In an interview, while describing his character in the film Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, Manoj Bajpayee said,
Portraying the role of P.C Solanki in ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’ has been an incredible experience as it is the inspiring story of an ordinary man who fought an extraordinary case against all odds for truth and justice. With the trailer out today, I hope that it appeals to the viewers and compels them to witness this story of victory and what all it took for P.C Solanki to achieve what he did.”