Congress’ Hardik Patel can't contest LS election as Gujarat High Court rejects plea to stay conviction in riot case

In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar sentenced Patel to two years' imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 Patidar quota stir.

Congress leader Hardik Patel not to be able to contest in Lok Sabha elections 2019, Gujarat HC
Indian Congress President Rahul Gandhi (L) and Patel Patidar leader Hardik Patel (R) wave to attendees during a rally at Adalaj, some 30 kms from Ahmedabad on March 12, 2019. - Hardik Patel was inducted in to Congress Party on March 12 ahead of Lok Sabha elections. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 29 Mar 2019 04:44 PM
HIGHLIGHTS
  • In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar sentenced Patel to two years' imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 Patidar quota stir.
  • The high court granted him bail and suspended his sentence in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed.
  • Under the Representation of the People Act and a related Supreme Court ruling, a convicted person cannot stand for election unless the conviction is stayed.
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High court on Friday rejected Congress leader Hardik Patel's plea seeking suspension of his conviction in a rioting case of 2015 in Mehsana. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Hardik Patel won't be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election due to his conviction.



In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar sentenced Patel to two years' imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 Patidar quota stir. The high court granted him bail and suspended his sentence in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed. Under the Representation of the People Act and a related Supreme Court ruling, a convicted person cannot stand for election unless the conviction is stayed.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Gujarat government had opposed Patel's petition seeking a stay on his conviction in a rioting case. Patel has moved the High Court seeking a stay on the conviction as he wants to contest the Lok Sabha election.

Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin had argued before Justice A G Uraizee that Patel was facing as many as 17 cases which reflected badly on his conduct.

Amin claimed that Hardik, who led the Patidar quota agitation in 2015, had accepted that he was at the site of the riot at Visnagar in Mehsana district, which was also proved by photographs submitted in the high court.

Patel had no respect for legal process, and he made "instigating and enraging utterances" during the agitation in 2015 and even later, the prosecutor argued.

Patel's lawyer I H Syed said if the conviction was not stayed, it will cause "irreparable damage" to his client as he intended to contest the Lok Sabha election. Nobody had seen Hardik Patel committing the alleged crime and the trial court did not examine any independent witnesses, advocate Syed said.

(agency inputs)

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