A magisterial court in Deesa of Banaskantha district of Gujarat convicted BJP MLA from Deesa constituency Shashikant Pandya on Thursday under the charge of obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions and sentenced him to imprisonment of three months while also imposing fine of Rs 500 in connection with an incident of 1994.
However, the court has stayed the conviction till the time to appeal against it gets over. Pandya was also released on bail by the court.
The order was passed by the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate M D Brahmbhatt in connection with a criminal case registered in January 1999. Pandya was facing charges under various sections of IPC like 327 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort property, or to constrain to an illegal act ), 477 (fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
Assistant Public Prosecutor in the case I R Aal said that the case dates back to 1994 when Pandya had an altercation with an employee of Deesa Nagarpalika. The then Chief Officer of the Nagarpalika had lodged a complaint in this regard against Pandya.
The magisterial court convicted Pandya under the charge of IPC 186 and acquitted him from other charges while giving him benefit of doubt due to lack of evidence. APP Aal said that following the judgment, Pandya was released on bail while also staying the judgment till the time of appeal gets over (30 days).
Speaking with The Indian Express, Shashikant Pandya said, “This is a case of a time when Congress was in full power. I was an elected member of BJP in Deesa Nagarpalika then. And I had gone to the nagarpalika for making a representation regarding unfulfilled works of common people. When common people’s works are not being done, one has to make a representation as an elected representative. I could have made an aggressive representation and the nagarpalika officer had lodged a police complaint against me.”
“Today, (after the judgment of conviction) we appealed the court to stay it till we exercise our right to approach the higher court. And accordingly, the court has stayed the judgment,” he added.
When contacted over the conviction of the BJP MLA, President of Gujarat BJP Jitu Vaghani said, “Law takes its own course.”