Hardik Patel moves HC for stay on his conviction

Hardik Patel moves HC for stay on his conviction

Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court seeking suspension of his conviction in a rioting case.

Hardik has sought relief on the ground that he is an "aspiring candidate" to contest the Lok Sabha election for which his conviction should be suspended.

The 25-year-old has moved the high court through his lawyer Rafik Lokhandwala.

In the petition, Hardik has pleaded that he is an "aspiring candidate to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election for the Member of Parliament but due to the conviction imposed by the Sessions Judge and non-suspending and not staying of his conviction by the Gujarat High Court, he is unable to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election, 2019."

His petition is likely to be heard next week.

Lokhandwala said that when Hardik was convicted and sentenced by a sessions court last year, an appeal was filed in the high court. During the hearing, the high court suspended the sentence of two years but didn't deal with suspending and staying the conviction.

"As per provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the applicant will not be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election due to his conviction," the petition said.

Last year, Hardik Patel and two others were convicted for rioting and were sentenced to two years simple imprisonment by a court in Visnagar in Mehsana district.

The incident of rioting had taken place in 2015 during the Patidar protest for reservation.

Mehsana district was the epicenter of agitation. Hardik is still not allowed to enter the periphery of the district as per the bail condition.

In the petition, Hardik has claimed: "if the order of conviction is not stayed and suspended, then the appellant will suffer irreparable loss and he being the person of public life, social activist and leader of community, his goal to serve the society at large by becoming Member of Parliament will be ruined."

It further adds that he has "all the chances to win the election and serve the society as the Member of Parliament."

Hardik Patel is likely to join the Congress during the party's working committee's meet in Ahmedabad on March 12, in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi.