Virtually disbelieving claims of Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel that he was abducted on Tuesday night after holding a public meeting, the Gujarat High Court today pulled him and his lawyer up for “misusing” the court and warned them of initiating contempt proceedings.
“Prima facie we are not satisfied with the allegation (of abduction),” a division bench of Justices M R Shah and K J Thaker observed while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by an aide of Hardik.
“No opinion is made about his illegal confinement. Prima facie the court is not satisfied with the allegation,” the court said.
Hardik, who is spearheading the agitation for inclusion of Patels in the OBC category, had surfaced yesterday after his mysterious disapperance the previous night and claimed he was abducted by “a person looking like a cop”.
He had on Tuesday organised a public meeting in Bayad taluka of Aravali district, allegedly without prior permission from the authorities. After the meeting, police tried to detain him but, according to IG Hasmukh Patel, he managed to evade them.
Police had later registered an FIR against Hardik and 20 others for violating prohibitory orders.
In a rare post-midnight hearing that went on till 2.40 am, the High Court had directed the state government to find Hardik after an aide moved a habeas corpus petition alleging that the young leader had been illegally detained by police. However, police maintained he had not been detained by them.
The bench, while ticking off Hardik and his lawyer B M Mangukia said,”If somebody tries to mislead the court proceedings, it cannot be tolerated or permitted. Nobody can take court proceedings for a ride. Looking at the seriousness of the matter it is adjourned till September 29.”
“We express no opinion at present whether the corpus (Hardik) was under illegal confinement of police or not. If there is any need of any FIR (against Hardik) , police may proceed as per law,” it said.
The court observed that the Patel leader and his advocate “misused” the court proceedings and warned them of initiating contempt of court proceedings.