Hardik Patel moves SC for stay on conviction as Lok Sabha poll deadline looms

Advocate Dharmesh Devani, who was representing the state government, said the high court accepted the fact that Patel had been a “lawbreaker” and so cannot contest an election.
Hardik Patel moved the top court after his plea for stay was rejected by Gujarat High Court last week. He was awarded a two-year prison sentence by a Visnagar court in July 2018 for leading a mob that ransacked local MLA Rishikesh Patel’s office in July 2015.
Hardik Patel moved the top court after his plea for stay was rejected by Gujarat High Court last week. He was awarded a two-year prison sentence by a Visnagar court in July 2018 for leading a mob that ransacked local MLA Rishikesh Patel’s office in July 2015.
Updated on Apr 01, 2019 05:01 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad | ByHT Correspondent

Congress’s newest leader Hardik Patel moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a stay on his conviction in a rioting case, which would clear the way for his electoral debut in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Patel moved the top court after his plea for stay was rejected by Gujarat High Court last week. The Patidar leader, who joined the Congress in March, was awarded a two-year prison sentence by a Visnagar court in July 2018 for leading a mob that ransacked local MLA Rishikesh Patel’s office in July 2015.

The Representation of the People Act bars anyone who has been sentenced to two or more years of imprisonment from contesting elections.

The 25-year-old, who is said to be keen on contesting from Gujarat’s Jamnagar, is running against time as April 4 is the last date for filing of nominations for the polls in Gujarat, to be held in the second phase of elections.

“My only crime is that I have raised voice against the BJP. I will campaign for the Congress and we will form the government,” Hardik wrote Twitter after the HC verdict.

Advocate Dharmesh Devani, who was representing the state government, said the high court accepted the fact that Patel had been a “lawbreaker” and so cannot contest an election.

“The fact that there were 14 FIRs against him, his speeches throughout have remained inflammatory and he is a regular offender has been accepted by the court, which has refused to stay Patel’s sentence,” Devani said on why the HC rejected his plea to stay the conviction.

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