The Supreme Court today (April 2, 2019) declined an urgent hearing of Congress leader Hardik Patel's plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting stay on his conviction in the 2015 Visnagar rioting case.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra
. The Bench also comprising of Justices M.M. Shantanagoudar
and Navin Sinha
noted that the High Court order was passed in August last year, told the learned counsel appearing for Patel that there was no urgency in hearing the matter.
"The order was passed in August 2018. What is the urgency now?" the Bench said while declining the request for an urgent hearing on the petition. Patel had started preparations to contest from Jamnagar on a Congress ticket after joining the party on March 12, 2019, and the last date for filing of nominations is April 4, 2019. The Sessions Court at Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced Patel to two years' imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town in 2015 during the Patidar quota stir which he led. The High Court in August 2018 had suspended the sentence but not the conviction. As per Section 8
of the Representation of the People Act, 1951
, a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.