Can Hardik Patel, who has been given 2 years jail in Visnagar case, contest election?March 08, 2019
Gandhinagar: Will PAAS leader Hardik Patel – who is soon going to join Congress party – be able to contest Lok Sabha election given the fact that he is convicted criminal and given two-year jail term by court?
The Election Commission of India website has a page dedicated to nomination related issues. Here are the question/answers related to this topic from same page:
Q . If some body is convicted for some offence and he is sentenced to imprisonment for 3 years, can he contest elections?
As per Section 8 (3) of R. P. Act, 1951, if a person is convicted of any offence and sentenced to an imprisonment of 2 years or more, this will be disqualification to contest elections.
Q . Supposing he is on bail, pending disposal of his appeal, can he contest the election?
Even if is a person is on bail, after the conviction and his appeal is pending for disposal, he is disqualified from contesting an election as per the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India.
Conviction of Hardik
In the last week of July in year 2018 a local court in Visnagar town of Mahesana district held PAAS leader Hardik Patel, Sardar Patel Group president Lalji Patel and another patidar quota agitation activist A K Patel guilty in case pertaining to attack on the office of the then BJP MLA Rishikesh Patel in July 2015.
Hardik and two other accused were held guilty and convicted for the offence of rioting under sections 147, 148, 149, 427 and 435. They were given simple imprisonment of two years and Rs 50,000 fine. The court had also asked to pay Rs. 10,000 to complainant TV journalist Suresh Vanol, Rs. 1 lakh to Babuji Thakor whose car was burnt and Rs. 40,000 to Visnagar MLA whose office was ransacked from the amount of fine.
IPC 147: Punishment for rioting.—Whoever is guilty of rioting, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
IPC 148: Rioting, armed with deadly weapon.—Whoever is guilty of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
IPC 149: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.—If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.
IPC 427: Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees.—Whoever commits mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
IPC 435: Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to amount of one hundred or (in case of agricultural produce) ten rupees.—Whoever commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, damage to any property to the amount of one hundred rupees or upwards 1[or (where the property is agricultural produce) ten rupees or upwards], shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Sessions court at Visnagar had directed Hardik and other two convicts to approach the High Court before August 27 to file appeal against the verdict. The court had asked convicts to surrender before Visnagar court if they fail to approach the High Court within one month and do not get bail. The session court had released Hardik and other two convicts on conditional bail for the bond of Rs 15,000.
Hardik and two other convicts were given simple imprisonment of two years and Rs 50,000 fine Complainant TV journalist Suresh Vanol will be given Rs 10,000, Babuji Thakor whose car was burnt will be given Rs 1 lakh and Visnagar MLA whose office was ransacked will be given Rs 40,000 compensation from the amount of fine,’ said a prosecutor speaking to media persons.
Sessions court at Visnagar had directed Hardik and other convicts to approach the High Court before August 27 to file appeal against the verdict. If the convicts fail to approach the High Court within one month and if they do not get bail, they need to surrender before the Visnagar court. Hardik and other two convicts were granted conditional bail for the bond of Rs 15,000.
Later Hardik and two other accused had managed to get bail from higher court and filed appeal there.
Police had filed a chargesheet against Hardik Patel and 16 others in March 2016 in this case.
Police had pressed the charges under sections 337 (causing hurt by endangering life or personal safety), 394 (causing hurt while committing robbery), 427 (causing damage to property) and 435 (using fire or explosives to cause damage) of Indian Penal Code and also under Gujarat Police Act against him and others.
Hardik and others were accused of being part of a group of around 500 youths from the Patel community that vandalised the office of the BJP legislator, attacked journalists, and rioted on July 23, 2015.
“The group attacked a journalist who was recording the incident, broke video camera and injured him. They also looted a mobile phone worth Rs. 10,000 and set a car on fire,” the chargesheet said.
What had happened on that day in Visnagar?
10.30 am: Rally proceeded
12.10 pm: Memorandum of demand submitted to Mamlatdar
12.43 pm: MLA Rushikesh Patel’s office ransacked, torched. Glasses of his office broken. AC and compressor damaged. Car of babuji Thakor, BJP OBC cell leader and Mahesana municipality’s former president torched.
1.06 pm: Stone pelting over MLA’s residence
1.19 pm: 13 tear gas shells lobbed, 6 round firing by police
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