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Blow to Hardik as SC in no hurry to hear plea

Blow to Hardik as SC in no hurry to hear plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Congress leader Hardik Patel’s plea for an urgent hearing against his conviction for rioting during the 2015 Patidar agitation, all but ending his chances of contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, declining to hear the matter urgently, said that the case would be taken up as and when the registry lists it before the court.

The Patidar leader, who had joined the Congress on March 12, had sought the stay to pave way for him contesting in the general elections that kick off on April 11. The last date for filing nominations for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, where polling will be held in the first phase itself, is April 4.

Patel had challenged the March 29 Gujarat High Court order that had rejected his plea that said “an irreparable loss” would be caused to him if he was not able to contest the polls.

He had sought the stay on a Visnagar court’s July 2018 decision convicting him for involvement in rioting and arson in Mehsana during the Patidar stir in 2015 and sentencing him to two years imprisonment.

Although Patel had got his prison term suspended from the Gujarat High Court, it did not stay his conviction.

As long as he remains convicted, Patel stands barred from contesting polls. According to a Supreme Court ruling, a person sentenced to two years or more is disqualified from contesting elections for the next six years.

The Patidar leader joined the Congress during its President Rahul Gandhi’s public rally in Gandhinagar and aspired to contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Jamnagar constituency.

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