December 4, 2021 11:57:47 pm
The Gujarat High Court quashed and set aside an FIR filed against Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel at Bopal police station in Ahmedabad in December 2017 for conducting a roadshow defying the police’s refusal to grant permission.
The 15-km roadshow from Bopal to Nikol had passed through several localities dominated by the Patidar community. In its verdict dated December 1, the court of Justice Gita Gopi also quashed the charge-sheet that stemmed from the FIR and subsequent criminal case before the additional chief judicial magistrate in Ahmedabad and other proceedings.
Hardik and two others — Rajubhai Patel and Sureshbhai Patel – were arraigned as accused in the FIR, which alleged that the latter duo had requested permission for the rally but was rejected on December 10, 2017. Despite that, the accused, along with the others, had taken out the roadshow the next day thus, violating the order promulgated by the additional district magistrate.
However, advocate Anand Yagnik, representing Hardik, submitted that the “FIR is nothing but an abuse of the process of law and is filed with an ulterior motive… only on the basis of conjecture and surmises”. He argued that as per the CrPC provisions, the cognisance taken by the magisterial court to register a criminal case on the basis of the FIR and charge-sheet is itself not maintainable under Section 188 of IPC without there being any complaint by the concerned public servant.
While the prosecution opposed the quashing plea, the court, adjudging solely on the maintainability of the FIR under Section 188 of the IPC, held that provisions of the CrPC “have not been complied with” by the magisterial court, and thus, the magistrate cannot take cognisance of the charge-sheet.
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