Hardik ready to stay out of Guj to get bail from Gujarat HC

Hardik ready to stay out of Guj to get bail from Gujarat HC
Hardik ready to stay out of Guj to get bail from Gujarat HC

Jailed Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today told the Gujarat High Court he was ready to accept any condition, including staying out of the state for six months, that it may deem fit for granting him bail.

Justice A J Desai reserved his order on the bail plea after the prosecution and defence counsels concluded their arguments.

Hardik, an accused in two separate cases of sedition registered against him in Surat and Ahmedabad, has been lodged in a Surat jail since his arrest last year in the wake of the violent stir by Patels seeking reservation under OBC category.

Opposing the bail plea, government pleader Mitesh Amin told the court that government is apprehensive that Hardik may repeat the offence and his presence outside jail may endanger the law-and-order situation in the state.

Countering the argument, Hardik’s lawyer Zubin Bharda said Hardik is fine even if the high court grants him bail on the condition that he stays out of Gujarat for another six months.

On this, Amin said keeping Hardik outside Gujarat would not serve the purpose as the latter can continue to incite his community members through social media platforms for which his physical presence in the state won’t be required.

During earlier hearings, the government had declined to accept Hardik’s offer for a written undertaking for bail.

The quota leader had stated he will refrain from activities that may affect law-and-order situation, but will “continue to agitate for grievances of the Patidar community in a peaceful and democratic manner”.

Hardik had earlier approached the high court for bail after the lower courts in Surat and Ahmedabad (where separate sedition cases are registered against him) refused him any relief.

The young Patel leader and his three associates are facing charges under IPC sections 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy).

They are accused of inciting violence to put pressure on the government to accept the demand of OBC reservation for Patels.

( Source – PTI )

Gujarat HC issues notice to Guj govt on 10% EWS reservation ordinance

Gujarat HC issues notice to Guj govt on 10% EWS reservation ordinance
Gujarat HC issues notice to Guj govt on 10% EWS reservation ordinance

Gujarat High Court today issued notice to the state government over a petition challenging an ordinance providing 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to members of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) as being “contrary to fundamental rights”.

A vacation bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay issued notice to secretaries of Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs department, Education department and General Administrative department, and posted the matter for further hearing on June 22.

The notice was issued after Jayantbhai Manani filed a petition challenging the May 1 ordinance, in which he stated that “special provision for reservation to economically weaker section is contrary to fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution”.

The petitioner said the ordinance was in “direct conflict” with the judgement of the apex court that a state cannot provide more than 50 per cent reservation, and that reservation could only be allowed on “ground of social and educational backwardness and not poverty per se”.

The petitioner also questioned the passage of ordinance “without collecting necessary data with regard to economical backwardness”.

“In absence of such a data or inquiry, classification of EWS suffer from arbitrariness. Before granting reservation to economical weaker section, state authority have to identify, measure and quantifiable data by showing backwardness of the EWS in general category and inadequacy of representation of a class in public employment under the state,” the petitioner said.

In the petition, Manani also highlighted measures taken by the state government for the uplift of EWS through Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavalamban Yojana under which Rs 1000-crore package was set aside for scholarship to students, age relaxation for government jobs for economical weaker section, among other measures applicable from this year.

The state government, on May 1, issued Gujarat Unreserved Economically Weaker Sections (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Ordinance, 2016, against the backdrop of the agitation by Patidar community for reservation.

It provides 10 per cent reservation to persons from unreserved category from economically weaker sections of the society other than SCs, STs and SEBCs for admissions in the educational institutions and government jobs.

The reservation is applicable to persons with annual family income cap of Rs 6 lakh.

( Source – PTI )

Petition against acquisition of house by Metro firm

Petition against acquisition of house by Metro firm
Petition against acquisition of house by Metro firm

The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd (MEGA) and the city civic body over a petition against land acquisition in Vastral area here for the Metro project.

The petitioner Rajubhai Patel, resident of Vastral, alleges that MEGA (which is constructing the Metro) is acquring houses in the area, including his own, for `road widening’ under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act which does not provide for compensation.

Unlike Land Acquisition Act, BPMC Act has no provision for social impact assessment and hearing objections by the affected persons, the petition says, adding that to acquire the land in this way was a misuse of power.

Before this, a petition has been filed by 22 persons who own houses or shops in Jivraj Park Society after MEGA initiated the process to acquire their properties.

Justice A J Desai posted the matter for hearing after the summer vacation after issuing notices.

( Source – PTI )

Every member of rioting mob is guilty of offence: Gujarat HC

Every member of rioting mob is guilty of offence: Gujarat HC
Every member of rioting mob is guilty of offence: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat High Court has ruled that every member of a rioting mob is guilty of the offence committed by some of its constituents, while maintaining that cases related to communal riots require “very careful handling.”

A division bench of justices K S Jhaveri and G B Shah said this in their order given on February 11, which was uploaded recently on the High Court’s official website, while reducing life sentence to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for seven convicts in a communal riot case of 2003.

“Law is abundantly clear that if an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in furtherance of the common object of that assembly, every member of that unlawful assembly is guilty of that offence.

“Specific overt act of each member of unlawful assembly need not be proved when the accused are proved to be members of that assembly,” the court said.

The court passed the order after hearing seven persons who had in 2006 challenged the order of a lower court which had sentenced them to life imprisonment in murder, dacoity and rioting case.

On November 7, 2003, a mob of around 1500 people had gathered at Shah Alam area of the city where they murdered one Mukesh Panchal whose body was recovered from Chandola lake of the city. They also assaulted and looted other passers-by.

The lower court had convicted seven persons to life sentence. The March 17, 2006 judgement was then challenged in High Court.

“After appreciating the entire evidence on record, we are unable to accept the contention advanced by learned counsel for the appellants (accused persons) that the accused were merely passive onlookers who joined the mob out of curiosity and they had no intention and did not share the common object of the unlawful assembly,” the court said.

“In our considered opinion, the common intention of the appellants was writ large that they wanted to create havoc in different areas of the city and to fill terror in the minds of people. In pursuance of this common object, the accused persons killed the deceased besides injuring other people and causing damage to public as well as private properties,” it added.

The court delivered its judgment while maintaining that, “riots, resulting in serious injuries or even death, are of frequent occurrence in this state and cases relating to such riots require very careful handling.”

“There is, moreover, great danger of innocent persons being implicated along with the guilty, owing to the tendency of the parties, in such cases, to try to implicate falsely, as many of their enemies, as they can,” the court maintained.

( Source – PTI )

Hardik’s bail plea: HC issues notice to Gujarat govt

Hardik PatelAhmedabad,The Gujarat High Court today issued a notice to the state Government on the bail petition of the Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, arrested in a sedition case.

Justice A J Desai asked the Government to file its reply and kept the next hearing on April 7.

Before issuing the notice, the court inquired about the status of the petition filed by Hardik in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the case against him.

Hardik’s lawyer Zubin Bharda said the next hearing in apex court was scheduled in the first week of April.

On March 11, Hardik approached the High Court after the sessions court rejected his bail application, filed after the city police’s crime branch submitted a charge sheet in the case in January.

The petition contends that sedition is a colonial law enacted by the British to suppress the voice of freedom fighters and it had been invoked wrongfully against the Patel leader who was only fighting for his community.

It also says that the police have failed to link Hardik’s intercepted telephonic conversations with his associates with the violence during the agitation in August last year.

Sessions court rejected his bail plea observing that he might repeat the offence.

Hardik and five others have been accused of inciting violence to mount pressure on the government for accepting the demand of reservations for the Patel community.

Hardik is at present lodged at Lajpore jail in Surat district, where another sedition case has been filed against him.

Gujarat HC allows abortion of rape victim’s 8-week foetus

Gujarat HC allows abortion of rape victim's 8-week foetus
Gujarat HC allows abortion of rape victim’s 8-week foetus

The Gujarat High Court today allowed a 16-year-old rape victim to abort her eight-week foetus under proper medical care, on a plea by her parents.

Citing provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, High Court justice K J Thaker asked the local police to take her to Sola Civil Hospital here and submit the latest medical reports of the doctors by tomorrow before proceeding for the termination of her pregnancy.

The court’s order came in response to a plea filed by the victim’s parents, who came to know about the alleged rape on their daughter when they took the girl for medical test at Sola Civil Hospital on December 12.

In her FIR lodged with Sola Police here, the victim alleged that she was raped thrice by a youth during last three months time, which resulted in her pregnancy. Based on the complaint, the accused have been arrested by Sola Police and lodged in jail, stated the plea.

As the medical tests confirmed that the girl is 8-week pregnant, her parents sought High Court’s permission to abort the child under the provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, which permits abortion under the supervision of single doctor panel if the pregnancy is of less than 12 weeks.

( Source – PTI )

Gujarat HC notices to Guj govt, police on Hardik’s bail plea

Gujarat HC notices to Guj govt, police on Hardik's bail plea
Gujarat HC notices to Guj govt, police on Hardik’s bail plea

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 )

PIL seeks ban on diesel-run com vehicles in Gujarat

PIL seeks ban on diesel-run com vehicles in Gujarat
PIL seeks ban on diesel-run com vehicles in Gujarat

A public interest litigation before the Gujarat High Court has sought a ban on all the commercial and public transport vehicles running on diesel if they are found to be not complying with the latest emission norms. Such vehicles must switch to CNG to reduce the air pollution, says the PIL, which follows the National Green Tribunals recent order banning registration of new diesel vehicles in Delhi.

Environmental activist Devjibhai Dhamecha, the president of Jogad (Rann) Eco Foundation, has filed the PIL which came up for hearing before the division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and V M Pancholi today. Dhamecha has cited various media reports claiming that there has been a significant rise in air pollution in Gujarat. The court issued notices to the state chief secretary, Gujarat Pollution Control Board and the state transport department, and posted the next hearing to January 8.

The PIL contended that despite the past directives of the Supreme Court, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation and the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service were using diesel-run buses and have not yet fully switched to CNG, as directed by the court. There is no clear policy in the state about phasing out old diesel-run commercial vehicles, it says.

All the commercial vehicles using diesel should be inspected and stricter BS4 norms should be enforced; if found unfit under these norms, such vehicles should be banned, the petition demands. In the longer run, the court may direct the government to ensure that all the diesel-run commercial and public transport vehicles are converted into CNG vehicles, and the government should seize all the polluting commercial and public transport diesel vehicles even if they were being used by government officials, it said.

( Source – PTI )

Babu Bajrangi withdraws bail plea in Gujarat HC

Babu Bajrangi withdraws bail plea in Gujarat HC
Babu Bajrangi withdraws bail plea in Gujarat HC

Former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, today withdrew his temporary bail plea from the High Court to grant him relief on medical grounds.

Bajrangi had earlier sought temporary bail for 45 days from the Gujarat High Court on medical grounds. He pleaded that he needed to undergo treatment for his ailments caused due to food poisoning and infection in his blood.

While hearing his plea on December 11, the High Court bench of justices S R Brahmbhatt and K J Thaker asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT) as well as superintendent of civil hospital to submit results of all the medical tests conducted on Bajrangi.

The hospital authorities today submitted the reports, in which it was stated that Bajrangi’s blood tests did not show any symptoms of infection.

After going through the opinion of the medical experts, the judges indicated that they were not inclined to grant him relief, following which Bajrangi’s lawyers withdrew the bail plea.

Bajrangi is one of the 31 convicts in 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, where 97 people of the minority community were killed. He was awarded ‘imprisonment till death’ by a special trial court in August 2012.

Former state minister Maya Kodnani was also convicted in the same case.

Bajrangi had challenged his conviction before the High Court which is pending at present.

He was earlier granted temporary bail by the Gujarat High Court six times on various grounds.

Naroda Patiya is one of the nine cases probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

The violence in Naroda Patiya area broke out here a day after the S-6 coach of Sabarmati express was burnt near Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002, which claimed lives of 58 ‘Karsevaks’.

 ( Source – PTI )

Hardik’s call interception: Gujarat HC seeks govt’s affidavit

Hardik's call interception: Gujarat HC seeks govt's affidavit
Hardik’s call interception: Gujarat HC seeks govt’s affidavit

The Gujarat High Court today asked the state government to file an affidavit on a plea by Hardik Patel questioning the legality of interception of his phone calls as well as of his associates, but rejected the defence’s request to share details of certain Home Department orders.

During arguments, Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya asked the government to share all orders given by Home Department permitting city Crime Branch to intercept calls of many Patel quota agitation leaders between August and October.

Mangukiya alleged that phone tapping was done without any prior permission from authorities such as Additional Chief Secretary (Home). He termed the act as a ‘breach of privacy’ of citizens.

However, Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin maintained due process was followed in getting permission. He said calls were intercepted after obtaining consent from authorities at regular intervals and objected to demand to share the orders.

After hearing the arguments, Justice J B Pardiwala ruled that government is not required to share these orders. He further asked the government to file a brief affidavit in this regard and posted further hearing for December 16.

In October, Hardik moved the high court challenging the interception of his and his associates’ phone calls by the police and sought an independent inquiry into it.

“The petitioner challenges the legality… of unlawfully tapping telephones not only of the petitioner but of several thousands persons of the Patidar community… which they (police) have admitted in the FIR against the petitioner,” said his plea.

The petition alleged that no prior permission was taken to intercept as well as tape the phone calls of quota leaders and others associated with the stir. Hardik’s father Bharat filed the petition on behalf of his son, who was then in police custody and later sent to jail in Surat.

Crime Branch had on October 21 registered an FIR against Hardik and his aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya, Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel on charges of sedition and waging war against the government.

In a recent judgement, the high court struck down the charges of ‘waging war against government’ from the FIR.

The FIR mentions details of call interceptions of the Patel leaders. It alleged these leaders, members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) – spearheading the quota stir – conspired to topple the state government and incited youths to resort to violence after a mega Patel rally here on August 25.

The 22-year-old firebrand leader is facing another sedition charge in Surat for allegedly advising a fellow activist “to kill policemen rather than committing suicide”.

( Source – PTI )