The Gujarat High Court Friday issued notice to Gujarat government on the petition moved by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel seeking bail in the sedition case lodged by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB). Justice A J Desai asked the government to file its reply and kept the next hearing on April 7.
Hardik has moved High Court after his bail was rejected by the Ahmedabad sessions court on various grounds, including the apprehension that the Patidar leader would repeat similar offence. Hardik is behind bars since his arrest on October 18 and his subsequent petitions for relief have been rejected.
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On the other hand, four of his key associates on Thursday submitted a written undertaking before the sessions court, pledging that they will not repeat the offence if granted bail. The court will pronounce the order on their bail pleas on Monday. Hardik’s another petition for bail in the sedition case lodged by Surat police is also pending in the High Court. It is likely to come up for hearing next week.
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 chargesheet 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 stir in August last year.
Hardik and five others have been accused of inciting violence to mount pressure on the government for accepting the demand of reservations for Patel community.
With PTI inputs