Court reserves order on Hardik Patel’s bail application

Ahmedabad: A sessions court here today reserved its order on the bail application of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, arrested in a case of sedition.

Additional sessions judge N G Dave is likely to pronounce the order on March 8.

Hardik, currently at Surat jail (arrested in another sedition case) filed his regular bail plea in the court here in January, claiming he was wrongfully booked for sedition and ‘waging a war against the government’ by Ahmedabad police.

The crime branch opposed his application saying the 22-year-old leader may indulge in similar activities if released and tamper with the evidence.

Hardik’s lawyer Rafik Lokhandwala today said sedition is a colonial law enacted by the British to suppress the voice of freedom fighters and it had been wrongfully applied in this case against a “patriot” who is fighting for his community.

Hardik and his associates had raised their voice only for the betterment of the community and there was no feeling of hatred, disloyalty or enmity against government, he said.

The police, who had submitted the record of Hardik’s intercepted calls before the court, failed to establish a link between the state-wide violence and Hardik’s conversations with others during the quota agitation, Lokhandwala argued.

The FIR was politically motivated, the lawyer said.

The crime branch, in its affidavit, said Hardik may abscond if released. It also accused the Patel leader of spreading rumours of secrete meeting with a top government officer and a leader in Surat jail recently.

There had been no such meeting, it said, adding that Hardik may once again try to destabilise the government if released.

Property worth Rs 40 crore was damaged during the Patel agitation last August. Police have argued that inciting such a mass violence amounted to sedition and waging a war against the government.