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Setback for Hardik Patel: Gujarat HC rejects stay on conviction in rioting case, can’t contest polls

As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Hardik Patel won't be able to contest the upcoming general elections due to his conviction.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 29, 2019 6:11:08 pm
hardik patel, hardik patel rioting case, hardik patel lok sabha elections, Visnagar rioting case, hardik patel Visnagar rioting case, congress, gujarat news Hardik Patel walks out of Lajpore jail in Surat, flanked by supporters from the Patidar community. File/Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana

In a setback for Congress leader Hardik Patel just weeks ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the Gujarat High Court Friday rejected his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the 2015 Mehsana rioting case. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Hardik Patel won’t be able to contest the upcoming general elections due to his conviction.

Patel, who joined the Congress on March 12, had expressed his willingness to contest the election from Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat. April 4 being the last date of filing of nominations in Gujarat, Patel has a few days to challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court.

The court of Justice Uraizee observed that the Congress leader had several criminal cases and 17 FIRs registered against him despite an undertaking. The judge also took into account the number of pending cases against the applicant across various courts before rejecting his plea.

Explained: What next for Hardik Patel after HC refuses to stay conviction

Taking to Twitter, the Congress leader welcome the HC verdict but questioned the cases registered against BJP leaders. “We are not scared of anyone. We will continue to raise our voice with honesty and without any violence. The Congress party will form the government. I will campaign for the party. My only fault is that I have not bowed down before the BJP,” he said.

Patel added, “I welcome the Gujarat HC order. Elections come and go. The BJP is against the Constitution. Why is the Congress being stopped from contesting the elections? There are a lot of cases against BJP leaders. But the law is only for us.”

In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar had sentenced Patel to two years’ imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 Patidar quota stir. The high court granted him bail and suspended his sentence in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed.

Patel figures in the list of star campaigners of the Congress party.

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