Guj HC judge recuses self from Hardik's Patel's plea

Guj HC judge recuses self from Hardik's Patel's plea

ANI file photo.

A Gujarat High Court judge on Wednesday recused himself from hearing the petition of Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel seeking suspension of his conviction in a rioting case in which he was sentenced for two years imprisonment last year.

Patel has sought relief on the ground that he wants to contest Lok Sabha election.

Justice R P Dholaria while recusing from the case ordered: "not before this court." Following the request of Hardik's lawyer Rafik Lokhandwala, justice Dholaria directed the court's registry to place the matter before acting chief justice for allotting the case to a different bench by Friday. 
 
The 25-year-old Patidar leader, who officially joined the Congress on Tuesday, moved the high court last week.  
 
Hardik has pleaded that he is an "aspiring candidate to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election for the Member of Parliament but because of the conviction, he is unable to contest the upcoming polls. Under sections of Representation of the People Act, 1951, a convicted person is not allowed to contest polls unless it has been stayed or suspended by the courts. 
 
Hardik was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment by a sessions court in July, 2018 against which he filed an appeal in the high court. The high court suspended the sentence of two years but didn't deal with suspending or staying the conviction. 
 
Hardik Patel and two others were convicted for rioting a court in Visnagar in Mehsana district. The incident of rioting had taken place in 2015 during the Patidar protest for reservation in Mehsana district which was the worst hit. Hardik is still not allowed to enter the periphery of the district as per the condition of bail. He has also challenged this in the high court which remains pending.
 
Hardik joined the Congress in the presence of top party leaders including president Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance's chairperson Sonia Gandhi, All India Congress Working Committee's general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra among others during a rally in Gandhinagar after Congress Working Committee's meet.
 
Hardik is set to contest the Lok Sabha polls which was also indicated by Rahul Gandhi who told the gathering that "Hardik will win the poll."