THE Supreme Court on Tuesday (January 5) allowed Gujarat police to file a charge sheet by Friday (January 8) in a trial court in a criminal case lodged against quota stir leader Hardik Patel for allegedly instigating Patel community to kill policemen and adopt violent means to “wage war against Gujarat government”.
The apex court’s order came when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gujarat, sought permission to file the charge sheet on the ground that if it is not filed, the accused will be entitled to get bail.
However, a bench of justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan refused to look into the draft charge sheet of the police.
“It would be inappropriate to look into it. Let the charge sheet be filed in the trial court on or before January 8, 2016. A copy of the charge sheet would be provided to the counsel for the accused in the trial court,” it said. The court fixed January 14 for further hearing the matter.
It will also hear another plea of Hardik challenging the High Court’s decision declining to quash the sedition charge invoked against him and others in a case lodged for allegedly attacking places like police stations in the state.
The state police had lodged the case in October against 22-year-old Hardik and five of his close aides on the charge of sedition and waging war against the government.
Later, Hardik, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Ketan Patel were arrested and are currently behind bars.
Two other aides of Hardik, Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya, were not arrested as the high court had granted them interim protection.
The FIR against Hardik and five others under serious charges of sedition said that the young leader had allegedly instigated his community to kill policemen and adopt violent means to wage “war against Gujarat government”.
The High Court ordered the removal of three IPC sections in the FIR - sections 121 (waging war against government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity) - against Hardik and five of his aides.
It, however, refused to drop IPC sections 124 (sedition) and 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against government), which attract punishment of life imprisonment or up to 10 years.
In his second plea, Hardik has challenged the High Court’s decision declining to quash the sedition charge invoked against him and others in a case lodged for allegedly attacking places like police stations in the state.
In his plea, Hardik has claimed that the charges have wrongly been invoked against him as there was no conspiracy to wage war against the government and, at best, it is the case of use of “intemperate language” which can be tried under some other penal provisions.