Supreme Court declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel’s plea

The 25-year-old Patidar youth leader will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha election this time

 Patidar leader Hardik Patel (PTI)
Patidar leader Hardik Patel (PTI)
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NH Web Desk

With the Supreme Court declining urgent hearing to Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s plea against his conviction on April 2, he will not be able to contest Lok Sabha election polling for which is scheduled for April 23 in Gujarat.

Hardik Patel, who had recently joined the Congress, had filed a plea in the apex court challenging the Gujarat High Court ‘s order rejecting stay on his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case.

The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The bench also comprising Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha told the counsel appearing for Patel that there was no urgency in hearing the matter as the high court order was passed in August last year.

“The order was passed in August 2018. What is the urgency now?” the bench said while refusing to accord urgent hearing on the petition.

Hardik, who joined the Congress in March, was awarded a two-year jail term by a Visnagar court in July 2018 for leading a mob that ransacked local MLA Rishikesh Patel’s office in July 2015.

While joining the Congress last month, Hardik had expressed his desire to contest the Lok Sabha polls and had received consent from party president Rahul Gandhi. However, the Representation of the People Act bars anyone who has been sentenced to two or more years of imprisonment from contesting elections.

With the Supreme Court denying urgent hearing in the matter, Hardik will not be able to contest the election as April 4 is the last date for filing of nominations for the polls in Gujarat, to be held on April 23.

“I will campaign for the Congress and we will form the government,” Hardik wrote on Twitter after the HC verdict.

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Published: 02 Apr 2019, 2:01 PM