Congress leader Hardik Patel on Monday moved the Supreme Court against a Gujarat High Court order that refused to stay his conviction in the 2015 Mehsana rioting case, news agency PTI reported.
Patel’s petition is likely to be mentioned on Tuesday for urgent hearing as he is running out of time because April 4 is the last date for filing nominations in Gujarat which votes on April 23.
His lawyers will seek a stay of the March 29 order of the Gujarat High Court. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Patidar leader 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 Lok Sabha elections from Jamnagar.
On Friday, the Gujarat High Court had rejected his petition seeking a stay on his July 2018 conviction for rioting and arson. The court of Justice Uraizee observed that the Congress leader had several criminal cases and 17 FIRs registered against him.
The judge also took into account the number of pending cases against the applicant across various courts before rejecting his plea.
A sessions court in Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced Hardik to two years in prison for rioting and arson in Visnagar town in 2015 during the Patidar quota agitation. In August last year, he was granted bail by the High Court but it did not stay his conviction.
Taking to Twitter, the Congress leader had welcomed the HC verdict but questioned the cases registered against the 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 had said.