September 26, 2017 10:16:44 pm
Quota agitation leader Hardik Patel has filed an application in an Ahmedabad court seeking discharge in a sedition case on the ground that there was no evidence against him for framing of charges. He has been accused of inciting violence with the intention to dislodge the government after a rally addressed by him turned violent in October 2015.
The application is likely to come up for hearing on September 28, Hardik’s lawyer Rafik Lokhandwala. In his plea filed yesterday in the court of sessions judge S H Oza, Hardik said there was no evidence against him for of framing charges and claimed the prosecution case against him did not hold ground.
His plea seeking quashing of the FIR in the same case is pending before the Supreme Court. It has challenged a high court order dismissing his petition. Hardik was granted bail by the high court in June last year.
On January 18, the city crime branch had filed a charge sheet of around 2,700 pages against Hardik and three others in court. They have charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy. If convicted, the maximum punishment for the charges is life imprisonment.
In the charge sheet, the police had termed the quota agitation, spearheaded by Hardik, as a “pre-planned conspiracy” that was hatched to put pressure on the state government to accept their “unconstitutional demand of quota”. The police alleged that due to such activities of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders, 457 FIRs relating to arson, assault and rioting were filed across Gujarat between July 7 and December 3 last year.
According to the charge sheet, property worth around Rs 40 crore was damaged in the violence. It alleged that 203 policemen as well as officers were injured in the violence while constable Dilip Rathva died in Surat.
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