Hardik Patel gets bail in sedition case, but must stay out of state

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Ahmedabad | Updated: July 8, 2016 4:49:19 PM

The Gujarat High Court today granted bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on the condition that he would remain out of the state for at least six months.

hardik-pti-LHardik, who heads the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was charged with sedition by the Gujarat police for instigating crowd during the violent Patidar agitation in October last year. (PTI)

The Gujarat High Court today granted bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in two sedition cases against him on the condition that he would remain out of the state for six months.

Hardik, who heads the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was charged with the sedition cases by the Gujarat police for instigating crowd during the violent Patidar agitation in October last year.

However, the Patidar leader will have to remain in jail for now as one more case of mob violence at an MLA office is pending against him in Visnagar town of Mehsana district of Gujarat.

Next hearing of the Visnagar case bail application in the high court is scheduled on July 11.

Justice A J Desai granted bail to Hardik with strict conditions. One of them was that he would have to stay out of Gujarat for the next six months and also submit a written undertaking that he would not indulge in any activities that would lead to law and order problem.

Justice Desai also said other conditions were mentioned in the written order.

The 22-year-old Patel quota agitation leader is in jail since October 2015 under sedition charges filed against him in Ahmedabad and Surat.

On Friday, the Gujarat government’s cousel Mitesh Amin opposed bail to Hardik saying the state government feared that Hardik may repeat the offence if he was out on bail, and his presence outside the jail may create law and order situation problems in the state.

Hardik’s lawyer Zubin Bharda, however, told the court that his client was ready to stay out of the state for six months if the court granted bail.

During earlier hearings, the government had declined to accept Hardik’s offer for written undertaking for bail, in which he had stated that he will refrain from activities that may affect law and order situation, but added he will “continue to agitate for grievances of the Patidar community in a peaceful and democratic manner.”

Hardik had approached the high court for bail in the sedition cases, after the lower courts in Surat and Ahmedabad (where there are separate sedition cases against Hardik) refused to grant bail.

The Patel leader and his three associates are facing charges under IPC sections 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) here.

They are accused of inciting violence to put pressure on the government to accept the demand of OBC reservation for Patels. Hardik’s mega rally on reservation held in Ahmedabad on August 25 last year had sparked violence, in which, ten people, including one policeman, were killed and public properties and vehicles worth crores of rupees were damaged across Gujarat.

(With PTI inputs)

 

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