Ahmed Patel fined over plea to produce CD of MLAs’ statements

The Gujarat High Court imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Tuesday after his lawyer sought to allow a witness to produce a CD of the party MLAs’ statements made ahead of the 2017 Rajya Sabha election.

Imposing the fine, Justice Bela Trivedi said the court had earlier rejected the application of his lawyer and making the same request was “misuse of the process of law at the instance of respondent No 1 (Patel)”.

Patel’s lawyer P S Champaneri moved the plea on Monday, seeking to allow witness Baldevji Thakor to produce a CD containing recordings of the legislators while they were staying at a resort in Bengaluru before the Rajya Sabha polls in 2017.

“In the opinion of the court, this is nothing but the misuse of process of law at the instance of respondent No.1, and without elaborating any further, the prayer for production of compact disc at the instance of the witness Baldevji Thakor deserves to be rejected in view of an earlier order issued on July 5,” it said.

“Such vexatious application also deserves to be rejected with cost. Hence, the application is rejected with cost of Rs 5,000 to be deposited by respondent No.1 on the next date of hearing that may be fixed by the court,” the judge said in the order.

On July 5, the high court passed an order not permitting the witness, Rohan Gupta, to produce the pen drive allegedly containing the Congress MLAs’ statements made at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru.

The court was hearing an election petition filed by BJP leader Balvantsinh Rajput, seeking to set aside Patel’s win in the Rajya Sabha after the former was defeated in the election. Rajput claimed that Patel bribed Congress MLAs to vote for him and the election should be set aside.

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