Refusing to quash sedition case against five key leaders of Patidar reservation agitation movement, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday observed that “reservation” and “corruption” are the two things which have “destroyed or rather not allowed the country to progress in the right direction.” The court has opined that “reservation has only played the role of an amoeboid monster” and “it is shameful to ask for reservation after 65 years of independence.”
Pronouncing the judgment, Justice J B Pardiwala upheld the charges under section 124 A (sedition) and section 121A (conspiracy to wage war) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) lodged against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel and four of his key associates by Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch. The court, however, quashed charges under sections-121 (waging war against government), 153 A (spreading enmity among communities) and 153 B (imputation and assertions prejudicial to national integration).
Justice Pardiwala stated in the judgment that it was difficult to hold conspiracy to wage war against government of Gujarat but “prima facie case of conspiracy to overawe by means criminal force, or the show of criminal force against the government is made out. The court held that persons who attacked police stations can’t be held guilty of waging war but can be guilty of “mammoth rioting.”
“Prima facie, the persons who attacked the police stations, damaged public property are guilty of mammoth rioting, and if the Government authority charges them instead of waging war against the Government, it is incumbent upon the Government to show that there is insurrection and not a riot and the insurrection is that the accomplishment of an object of a general nature. The prosecution, in my opinion, has not been able to make out a prima facie case of insurrection. When I am talking about insurrection, I mean, a violent uprising against an authority or Government,” the judgment states.
Justice Pardiwala wrote, “If I am asked by any one to name two things, which has destroyed this country or rather, has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is, (i) Reservation and (ii) Corruption. It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after 65 years of independence.”
Saying that it was understood that following the framing of constitution that reservation would remain for a period of ten years, it is unfortunate that it has continued even after 65 years of independence.
“The reservation has only played the role of an amoeboid monster sowing seeds of discord amongst the people. The importance of merit, in any society, cannot be understated. The merit stands for a positive goal and when looked at instrumentally, stands for “rewarding those actions that are considered good,” Justice Pardiwala remarked in the order.