Dealing a severe blow to controversial Patidar community leader Hardik Patel’s political aspirations in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Gujarat High Court has rejected his plea seeking the suspension of his conviction in a rioting case in 2015. Patel had sought the suspension as due to his conviction he is barred under the Representation of People Act, 1951, from contesting the Lok Sabha election.
Gujarat High court rejects 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 pic.twitter.com/qmiuGwHMa3
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2019
Patel had applied for a stay on his conviction in the rioting case earlier this month. He had led the Patidar agitation in Gujarat in 2015 bringing the State to a standstill to demand reservation for Patidars. Around 9 people had lost their lives in the ensuing violence and the Army had to be deployed to take control of the situation. Last year in the month of July, a Sessions Court in Visnagar had found Patel guilty of causing a riot in Mehasana and sentenced him to 2 years in prison. He was convicted of offences of arson and creating ruckus at the office of BJP MLA Rushikesh Patel. Out of 17 accused, only three were found guilty by the court including Hardik Patel. Apart from the jail term, they were also fined Rs 50,000 each. But the court had granted them bail against bonds of Rs 15,000.
Other than the riot case where he has been convicted, Hardik Patel is also facing a sedition case in Gujarat which carries the maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The case was filed after he had called for ‘killing cops’ in 2015. A case of insulting the national flag was also levelled against him, which was later withdrawn.