Updated: September 25, 2015 3:04:06 am
The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Thursday severely criticized Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel and his lawyer BM Mangukia while saying that both of them “took the court for a ride” by filing a habeas corpus petition past midnight on September 22. The petition was been filed alleging that Hardik was kidnapped by police and his life was under threat.
Coming down heavily on Mangukia, the division bench of justices M R Shah and KJ Thaker said that despite the fact that a petition was filed showing urgency, neither the corpus (Hardik) nor Mangukia bothered to inform the court a day later (Wednesday) after the corpus was found at 11:30 AM. The court told Mangukia to tender unconditional apologies. The bench directed Mangukia to substantiate the allegations levelled in the petition on September 29 and ordered him to remain present on that day. The court also clarified that the pendency of this petition will have no impact in case the law takes its course against Hardik who appeared before the court and gave his statement in writing.
“We are pained to say that you took the court for a ride. We were reluctant to take up the petition on that night but when you demonstrated how urgent the petition was we took it up since it was pertaining to life of a citizen. However, prima facie we find that the whole purpose of the petition was mere publicity. Even before the hearing you gave interviews to the media about the petition and despite our request you further gave interviews in the night,” justice Shah told Mangukia in the packed court.
The bench questioned Hardik about his alleged kidnapping and ordered to give his statement in writing. Hardik complied explaining how he was picked up by policemen in plain cloth and eventually dropped on a highway in Surendranagar. It has been alleged in the petition that Hardik was taken away by the policemen from Tenpur village in Aravalli district. The petition mentions Hardik as “follower of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel” who is fighting for the rights of Patidar community.
On the other hand, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi vehemently opposed the petition and said that “the whole kidnapping incident was nothing but a drama. He said that this is a contempt of the court and a suo moto case should be initiated against the petitioners.” He added that through this very petition the image of Gujarat was tarnished in the whole world.
“There was a drama which started at 11:30 PM and ended at 11:30 AM. This is a matter of investigation that what happened between this passage of time. It was a sinister design, something horrendous has happened. Therefore, we would like to cross examine Hardik as no one should be allowed to take the entire system lightly,” Trivedi argued in the court. He also submitted two sealed envelops before the court which are said to have some confidential information about the case.
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