Court refuses to stay Hardik’s conviction

Virendra Pandit Ahmedabad | Updated on March 29, 2019

Hardik Patel

Barely a fortnight after he joined the Congress, Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel’s hopes to contest the Lok Sabha polls were dashed on Friday when the Gujarat High Court refused to stay his conviction in a 2015 rioting case, making him ineligible to enter the poll fray.

Filing of nominations for the April 23 vote in Gujarat, which commenced on Thursday, will conclude on April 4. Unless the Supreme Court reverses the HC ruling, he will not be able to contest the LS polls.

In the High Court, the State Government had opposed his plea for staying conviction, saying that he was a habitual instigator of violence. Responding to Hardik’s March 8 request for early disposal of his stay plea, the prosecution maintained that a lawbreaker could not become a lawmaker.

Justice AG Uraizee observed that the Congress leader was facing many criminal cases and 17 FIRs were registered against him, despite an undertaking he gave earlier.

According to the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, anyone convicted with a sentence of two or more years in a case is ineligible to contest polls.

In July 2018, Hardik was sentenced to undergo two-year simple imprisonment and pay a fine by a Sessions Court in Mehsana district in a rioting and arson case of July 2015.

Published on March 29, 2019

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