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HC likely to pass order on Hardik's plea for stay on conviction on Friday

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 28, 2019  | 21:43 IST

Ahmedabad, Mar 28 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court is likely to pass order Friday on a petition filed by Congress leader Hardik Patel seeking stay on his conviction in a 2015 rioting case so that he can contest the Lok Sabha election. Patel, leader of the Patidar quota agitation, had announced earlier this month that he will contest the election. He joined the Congress on March 12. Soon after he approached the high court with a plea to stay his conviction in the Visnagar rioting case. As per the Supreme Court's judgement, a convict can not contest an election unless the conviction is stayed. The Gujarat government has opposed Hardik's plea. The hearing before the high court concluded Thursday and both the sides said they will submit written submissions Friday, after which the court may pass order, lawyers said. Hardik's lawyer I H Syed requested Justice A G Uraizee to pass order at the earliest so that his client may have time to approach the Supreme Court if the order went against him. The last date of filing of nominations for Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat is April 4. The filing of nominations began today, and his client has limited time at hand, advocate Syed said. He said there was no evidence against Hardik to establish that he was involved in rioting at the office of Visnagar MLA and BJP leader Rushikesh Patel during the quota agitation in 2015. The Visnagar court sentenced Hardik Patel to two years in jail in the case in 2018. The conviction was only based on the Supreme Court's guidelines which hold leaders of organisations causing mob violence liable, though Hardik Patel was himself not present at the site of the incident, the lawyer said. The state government opposed the plea, saying that Haridk Patel has criminal antecedents, with seventeen FIRs including two for sedition registered against him. The high court, which in August last year suspended his sentence in the same case, did not stay the conviction, hence the new petition was not maintainable, the government said. Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said a stay should be granted only in the "rarest or rare cases" and the present case did not fall in that category. PTI KA PD KRK SOM SOM

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