- NL Sena
The Supreme Court on April 2 declined Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s plea for an urgent hearing. Patel was seeking a stay on his conviction in a 2015 rioting case in order to be able to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In July last year, a sessions court in Mehsana district had sentenced Patel to two years in prison for rioting and arson during the 2015 Patidar quota agitation. In August last year, he was granted bail by the High Court but no stay was granted on his conviction.The state had opposed his plea citing the various FIRs lodged against him. Patel had joined the Congress on March 12.
Under the Representation of the People Act, a convict facing a jail term of two years or more cannot contest unless the conviction is stayed.
According to the Indian Express, the 25-year-old has reportedly been preparing to contest from the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat. Gujarat votes on April 23 and April 4 is the last date for filing nominations for the same.
Challenging the High Court order, Patel said suspension of his conviction would not cause any prejudice as his sentence already stands suspended. He claimed he would suffer “irreparable loss” if the conviction was not stayed.