The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notices to the state government and police on Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s bail plea in a sedition case filed against him by the city crime branch.
Justice A J Desai issued the notices and kept the next hearing on January 6.
Hardik is at present behind the bars in two separate sedition cases. This particular bail plea was in reference to the second sedition case filed against him and five others by the city crime branch, in which they were charged with inciting people to resort to violence during the quota agitation.
The bail plea says that the sedition charge against Hardik are politically motivated. It also mentions that charging Hardik and others Patel quota agitation leaders with sedition was an attempt by the state government to suppress a legitimate agitation for reservation.
Today when the court proceedings begun, the high court faced a dilemma as two bail applications were filed in the same sedition case. While one application was filed by his old lawyer B M Mangukia, the other one was filed by lawyer Rafiq Lokhandwala and Zubin Bharda. However, Hardik’s family members said they have appointed new lawyers, after which Mangukia withdrew the plea filed by him.
The crime branch had charged Hardik and five of his key aides under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (waging war against government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity). However, the high court had recently removed section 121, 153-A and 153-B from the FIR, while sedition charge was upheld.
Hardik’s bail plea has been rejected by Additional Sessions Judge N G Dave earlier. Hardik has also filed an application in the high court seeking bail in the first sedition case filed against him in Surat. The sessions court in Surat had also rejected his bail plea on December 10.
Surat police booked him under sedition charge for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen instead of committing suicide.
( Source – PTI )