‘What is the urgency?’ SC declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel’s plea
New Delhi, Apr 02: The Supreme Court today refused the Congress leader's request to put on hold his conviction in a rioting case to enable him to contest the national elections.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. The bench also comprising Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha told the counsel appearing for Patel that there was no urgency in hearing the matter as the high court order was passed in August last year.
"The order was passed in August 2018. What is the urgency now?" the bench said while refusing to accord urgent hearing on the petition.
Hardik Patel moved the top court after his plea for stay was rejected by Gujarat High Court last week. The Patidar leader, who joined the Congress in March, was awarded a two-year prison sentence by a Visnagar court in July 2018 for leading a mob that ransacked local MLA Rishikesh Patel's office in July 2015.
Patel joined the Congress on March 12 and had reportedly been preparing to contest from the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat. The Gujarat High Court, however, upheld his conviction. Gujarat votes on April 23. April 4 is the last date for filing nominations for the same.
In light of the Supreme Court order, the Patidar leader will be out of the electoral fray since under Section 8 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951, an individual convicted for an offence and sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison is banned from contesting elections.