A sessions court on Friday rejected bail pleas of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and two of his aides, who are behind the bars in a sedition case, observing they may resort to similar unlawful activities and disturb law and order in Gujarat.
Additional sessions judge NG Dave dismissed the bail pleas in the second sedition case filed against Hardik and others saying that the “court cannot exercise discretion… in favour of the applicants in the larger interest of the society.”
Hardik and his aides Dinesh Bambhaniya and Chirag Patel, who are facing sedition charges and are at present lodged in jail, had filed their bail application last month.
While rejecting their bail plea, the court noted that prima facie a case of sedition does exist against the applicants.
The court was satisfied with the crime branch’s contention that the accused should not be released on bail looking at the serious charges they are facing.
“Considering the role played by the applicants and the role played by them, this court is not inclined to exercise its discretion in favour of the applicants..Hence, these applications are hereby rejected,” stated the order.
On Thursday, Surat sessions court had also rejected Hardik’s bail plea in another sedition case filed against him by Surat police for allegedly inciting a fellow activist “to kill policmen instaed of committing suicide.”
The city crime branch charged Hardik and five of his key aides under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (waging war against government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).
However, the Gujarat High Court had recently removed section 121, 153-A and 153-B from the FIR.
In their bail plea, the trio told the court that the FIR against them is fabricated as well as politically motivated.
During the arguments, their lawyer B M Mangukiya argued that the agitation to demand reservation under OBC quota does not amount to sedition, as charged in the FIR against the quota agitation leaders by the city crime branch on October 21.
In response to these allegeations, Public Prosecutor Sudhor Brahmbhatt had argued that the FIR filed by the crime branch is based on substantial evidence collected against them and there is no malafide intention behind the FIR.
He further stated that all the accused are facing serious charges and evidence collected till date proves their active involvement in inciting Patel community youths to resort to violance in order to destabilise the government after their mega rally on August 25, which resulted in state-wide distruction of public properties and loss of 10 lives.