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Gujarat govt opposes Hardik's plea seeking stay on conviction

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 27, 2019  | 21:13 IST

Ahmedabad, Mar 27 (PTI) The Gujarat government on Wednesday opposed Congress leader Hardik Patel's petition seeking a stay on his conviction in a rioting case. Patel has moved the High Court seeking a stay on the conviction as he wants to contest the Lok Sabha election. Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin argued before Justice A G Uraizee that Patel was facing as many as 17 cases which reflected badly on his conduct. Amin claimed that Hardik, who led the Patidar quota agitation in 2015, had accepted that he was at the site of the riot at Visnagar in Mehsana district, which was also proved by photographs submitted in the high court. Patel had no respect for legal process, and he made "instigating and enraging utterances" during the agitation in 2015 and even later, the prosecutor argued. Patel's lawyer I H Syed said if the conviction was not stayed, it will cause "irreparable damage" to his client as he intended to contest the Lok Sabha election. Nobody had seen Hardik Patel committing the alleged crime and the trial court did not examine any independent witnesses, advocate Syed said. In July 2018, the sessions court at Visnagar sentenced Patel to two years' imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 Patidar quota stir. The high court granted him bail and suspended his sentence in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed. Under the Representation of the People Act and a related Supreme Court ruling, a convicted persons cannot stand for election unless the conviction is stayed. PTI KA KRK RT

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