March 11, 2021 4:12:41 am
THE GUJARAT High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea moved by Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel wherein he had sought a deletion of his bail condition that requires him to seek prior court permission before travelling out of Gujarat.
Patel, however, continues to have the liberty to move the sessions court with temporary relief of the condition as and when required, following which the trial court can exercise its discretion accordingly.
On March 5, an Ahmedabad sessions court allowed a plea by Patel seeking temporary relaxation of his bail condition from March 8 to March 22, permitting him to travel to Delhi and other places.
The bail condition stipulating him to seek prior permission of the court before leaving the state was imposed on Patel in January 2020 after he was arrested for failing to appear before an Ahmedabad trial court in connection with an FIR filed in 2015 by the crime branch, wherein he was charged with sedition during the Patidar agitation. While granting him bail, the trial court had then imposed the condition that he would be required to seek prior permission of the court t leaving the local limits of Gujarat.
Patel told The Indian Express that he plans to approach the Supreme Court. “I was once barred from entering the state borders and now I am not allowed to leave the state borders,” Patel said.
Patel had first moved the Ahmedabad sessions court seeking a temporary suspension, for a duration of 12 weeks, of the bail condition. The Congress leader had then submitted that he wanted to campaign for the party for the Bihar Assembly elections. In September 2020, the lower court rejected his plea following which Patel challenged the decision before the Gujarat High Court. The HC had granted relief permitting Patel to travel outside Gujarat for 17 days, between November 11, 2020 and December 2, 2020.
Represented by advocate Anand Yagnik, his plea before the Gujarat HC had also sought a permanent deletion of the bail condition. It was submitted before the Gujarat HC that imposition of a bail condition restricting him from moving out of the state borders “is overreaching…and may amount to judicial impropriety.”
It was also submitted that being a political figure, Patel is often required to visit Delhi to “fulfill his political commitments,” and the bail condition becomes an impediment as they have to approach the sessions court every time to get permission to leave Gujarat, which is a “laborious, lengthy and impractical process.”
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