Ahmedabad, Apr 6 (PTI) The Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel today approached the Gujarat High Court against a lower court decision rejecting his discharge application in a sedition case filed against him by the crime branch of Ahmedabad police in 2015.
Justice Z K Saiyad, after admitting Patel’s plea, issued a notice to the Gujarat government and kept the matter for further hearing on May 8.
A case of sedition was registered against Patel and others by the crime branch following violence during an agitation in August, 2015 demanding OBC reservation benefits for the Patidar community.
He has been accused of inciting violence with intention to dislodge the government after a rally addressed by him turned violent in August 2015. At least 13 people had died in the violence.
In February this year, the city sessions court judge Dilip Mahida had rejected his discharge application, thereby allowing framing of charges against him in the sedition case.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader is currently out on bail in the case.
He then moved the plea before the sessions court claiming that there was no evidence against him to frame charges and that the prosecution’s case did not hold.
However, rejecting his plea, the sessions court accepted the prosecution’s argument that there was material evidence against Patel based on which charges could be framed.
The sessions court had noted that evidence in the form of speeches, conversations and forensic evidence established an offence as mentioned in the FIR.
On January 18, 2016, the crime branch had filed a charge sheet of around 2,700 pages against Hardik and three others identified as Dinesh Bambhania, Ketan Patel and Chirag Patel. Among these, Ketan has turned approver in the case.
Notably, the same court had issued a bailable warrant against Hardik Patel on April 4 for being absent during the proceedings of framing of charges against him and others in the sedition case.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.