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SC stays conviction of Hardik Patel in rioting and arson case

ANI | Updated: Apr 12, 2022 12:44 IST

New Delhi [India], April 12 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the conviction of Hardik Patel until the appeals are decided, in a rioting and arson case during the Patidar quota stir.
A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath also remarked that High Court should have stayed the conviction and said, "the conviction is, hereby, stayed until the appeals are decided accordingly."
Supreme Court was hearing Hardik Patel's appeal seeking suspension of his conviction in the case in which he was found guilty of rioting and arson during the Patidar quota stir in 2015.
Patel had moved the apex court challenging the order of the Gujarat High Court which had suspended his jail sentence but not the conviction.
Hardik Patel has challenged the judgment of the Gujarat High Court seeking suspension of the conviction so that he could contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, SC said no to an urgent hearing on conviction in a rioting case.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Hardik Patel said that he had earlier lost one chance to contest the election in 2019.
Patel, in his petition, had stated that the apex court should urgently hear his petition because the last date and filing of the nomination papers for Lok Sabha elections 2019, was April 04. However, the apex court had earlier declined to give him an urgent hearing at that time.
As per rules and the Representation of the People (RP) Act, a political candidate, who was convicted and facing a prison term of two years or more cannot contest the elections, unless the same is stayed by a court.
The 26-year-old, in his petition, claimed that he is a leader of the Patidar Andolan and started his agitation in 2015, and due to this, the ruling party of the state of Gujarat registered an FIR against him.
"This registration of FIR and the action of the state government were mala fide and were with a view to suppressing the voice of the masses," Patel claimed in his petition.
He had further stated in his petition that in the present case, it was argued at length before the Gujarat High Court that there is no legal evidence against conviction and the same is based on hearsay evidence.
A lower Court at Mehsana in Gujarat had sentenced the Patidar leader to two years' imprisonment in 2018 July, for his involvement in rioting and arson in 2015, when during the Patidar quota protests. (ANI)