The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday ordered senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel to appear before it on June 20 as a witness in connection with a petition moved by BJP leader Balvantsinh Rajput, challenging his victory in the Rajya Sabha polls in August 2017.
The court did so while rejecting Patel’s application, submitted through his advocate P S Champaneri, wherein he had declared that he would “appear as his own witness at a later stage, on account of his ill health.”
The application was tendered Wednesday, along with a separate “Discharge Summary” of Patel, issued by a private hospital in Delhi NCR, in which it was stated that he was discharged on June 9.
However, the court of Justice Bela Trivedi rejected Patel’s application, refusing to consider it as a special case and pointed out towards lack of details with regard to Patel’s medical condition in the discharge summary.
Justice Trivedi, in her order, stated, “It is difficult to make out from the said (discharge) summary also as to what exactly the (medical) complaint was at the time of admission in the said hospital. The very fact that he was discharged on the very next day i.e. on 9.6.2019 shows that he did not have any serious ailment…no special circumstances have been made out by the respondent (Ahmed Patel) to permit him to be examined after the other witnesses are examined.”
The court recorded the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code that when a party wishes to appear as a witness, he has to do so, before any other witness on his behalf has been examined, unless the court permits him to appear at a later stage. In such a case, the court while considering the special circumstances of the party, may permit him to appear at a later stage after the examination of the other witnesses on his behalf.
Furthermore, in light of the court’s refusal to exercise its discretion, Rajput’s counsel objected to the deposition of Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil who was listed to appear as a witness on behalf of Patel on Wednesday. The court then ordered Patel to appear as a witness on June 20.