Hardik’s bail plea: High Court issues notice to Gujarat government

Hardik had approached the High Court for his bail application after the sessions court rejected it.

The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued a notice to the state Government on the bail petition of the Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, arrested in a sedition case.

Justice A J Desai asked the Government to file its reply and kept the next hearing on April 7. Before issuing the notice, the court inquired about the status of the petition filed by Hardik in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the case against him.

Hardik’s lawyer Zubin Bharda said the next hearing in apex court was scheduled in the first week of April. On March 11, Hardik approached the High Court after the sessions court rejected his bail application, filed after the city police’s crime branch submitted a charge sheet in the case in January.

The petition contends that sedition is a colonial law enacted by the British to suppress the voice of freedom fighters and it had been invoked wrongfully against the Patel leader who was only fighting for his community.

It also says that the police have failed to link Hardik’s intercepted telephonic conversations with his associates with the violence during the agitation in August last year. Sessions court rejected his bail plea observing that he might repeat the offence.

Hardik and five others have been accused of inciting violence to mount pressure on the government for accepting the demand of reservations for the Patel community. Hardik is at present lodged at Lajpore jail in Surat district, where another sedition case has been filed against him.