Hardik moves High Court seeking stay on lower court conviction so that he can contest Lok Sabha electionMarch 08, 2019
Ahmedabad: PAAS leader Hardik Patel today moved Gujarat High Court to get a stay on the conviction by a local court in Mahesana district in a rioting case of July 2015 so that he was not disqualified from contesting the next Loksabha poll.
The case was pertaining to the violence, arson and attack on the office of the then local BJP MLA Rushikesh Patel in Visnagar town of Mahesana district during a pro quota rally of PAAS on July 23, 2015.
A local court had on July 25 last year held Hardik Patel, SPG leader Lalji Patel and another Patidar leader A K Patel guilty in the case and sentenced 2 years of simple imprisonment and imposed Rs 50 thousand fine. The court had acquitted the other 14 accused. The trio was granted regular bail by the Gujarat high court in August last year.
Hardik’s counsel Rafik Lokhandwala today said that he filed an application in the High Court today. ‘We have made a prayer before the court to put a stay on the conviction and the sentence against Hardik so that he could contest the next LS poll without any fear of rejection of his nomination. The matter is likely to come up for hearing next week,’ he said.
Notably, as per existing law a person convicted in any case with a jail term of 2 years or above can’t contest an election.
Hardik has expressed his willingness to contest coming LS poll. Though he has not revealed more details publicly, it is learnt that he was willing to contest on Jamnagar seat in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. He is interested in contesting the election either on Congress ticket or as a party backed independent candidate.
Hardik had earlier moved moved high court against the lower court order seeking its quashing. He had submitted that he had not committed the crime or done anything wrong. The appeal is still pending for hearing and the court has not stayed the conviction. The court would hear that appeal later.
Police had filed a chargesheet against Hardik and 16 others in March 2016 in the 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.
They are accused of being part of a group of around 500 youths from the Patel community which vandalised the office of the BJP legislator, torched a car kept outside, attacked a journalist 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 chargsheet had alleged.
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