Updated: March 28, 2021 5:53:41 am
In a relief to Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel, the Gujarat High Court, in an order dated March 17, has modified a non-bailable warrant issued by an Ahmedabad rural magistrate court to a bailable warrant in the 2017 Bopal case.
The Congress leader, however, will have to submit an undertaking that he will remain present before a trial court hearing the case against the Patidar agitation leader on every hearing unless exempted from appearance by it.
The non-bailable warrant was issued against Patel on February 11 last year by the judicial magistrate first class of Ahmedabad Rural in connection with a December 2017 case registered at Bopal police station after the Patidar agitation leader failed to remain present before it. The magistrate court had rejected an exemption application tendered by Patel at the time and issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
In 2017, the FIR was filed after Patel took out a 15-km roadshow from Bopal to Nikol, passing through several localities dominated by the Patidar community in Ahmedabad, without police permission.
The court of Justice Vaibhavi Nanavati granted the relief to Patel after advocate Anand Yagnik, representing Hardik, assured the Congress leader was willing and ready to show up for trial and give an undertaking to this effect.
“Admittedly, the non-bailable warrant was issued to the petitioner due to his absence on successive dates of hearing. Earlier, bailable warrants were issued to the petitioner. When the petitioner did not remain present, a non-bailable warrant came to be issued. As such the conduct of the petitioner is required to be assessed with a strict view, in view of the fact that the court below granted several opportunities to the petitioner to honour the orders passed by it from time to time,” the court observed.
Now, Patel has been directed to file an undertaking before the registry of the Gujarat HC on or before March 31, assuring his presence on April 9 before the trial court and to the effect that he will remain present before the trial court on every date of hearing, unless exempted by the trial court. Patel will also have to execute a bail bond of Rs 1,000 before the trial court on April 9.
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