SC declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel’s plea

Patidar leader Hardik Patel has received set back today from the Supreme Court also declining his plea for urgent hearing against his conviction so that he can contest Lok Sabha polls. It may be recalled he had recently joined the Congress and the later accepted to give him Jam Nagar Lok Sabha seat to contest in the polls.

However, earlier his plea was turned down by Gujarat High Court to stay on his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case. When he challenged the same, the Apex court also rejected his plea.

The matter was mentioned today for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The bench also comprising Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha told the counsel appearing for Patel that there was no urgency in hearing the matter as the high court order was passed in August last year.

“The order was passed in August 2018. What is the urgency now?” the bench said while refusing to accord urgent hearing on the petition. The Patidar leader 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.

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