A magisterial court in Gujarat’s Mehsana on Thursday convicted Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and nine others in a criminal case of unlawful assembly registered against them for carrying out a rally from Mehsana town in July 2017 without police permission, reported The Indian Express.
All 10 convicts have been sentenced to three month’ imprisonment and fine of Rs 1,000 each. Apart from Mevani, NCP leader Reshma Patel is also one of the convicted accused.
Passing the order, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate J A Parmar observed that “it is not an offence to hold rally but it is an offence to hold rally without permission”. The court also observed that “disobedience can never be tolerated”.
On July 12, 2017, Mevani along with then student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and 15 others took out ‘Freedom March’ on the first anniversary of the Una flogging incident in which four Dalit youths were brutally assaulted by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes.
The Mehsana district authorities had cancelled the permission granted earlier to Mevani for taking out the march. The Mehsana police registered a case of unlawful assembly against them under Section 143 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) since they were not given permission to hold the march. The police submitted a chargesheet against 12 people in the case.
Pronouncing the verdict while convicting the 10 accused, the court observed that the accused could have challenged the order of the executive magistrate before appropriate higher authorities and then held the rally after getting due permission.