The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to urgently hear a petition filed by Congress patidar leader Hardik Patel seeking a stay on his conviction in a 2015 rioting case in order to be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In July last year, 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.
Patel joined the Congress on March 12 and had reportedly been preparing to contest from the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat. The Gujarat High Court, however, upheld his conviction. Gujarat votes on April 23. April 4 is the last date for filing nominations for the same.
Opposing his plea, the state had told the High Court that there were as many as 17 FIRs, including two sedition complaints, against Patel.
Challenging the High Court order, Patel said in his appeal before the Supreme Court that suspension of his conviction would not cause any prejudice as his sentence already stands suspended.
Patel claimed he would suffer “irreparable loss” if the conviction was not stayed as he will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha elections.