The Supreme Court Friday granted bail to BJP leader Hardik Patel in a case lodged against him in connection with the violence during the Patidar stir in Gujarat in 2015 subject to his “diligent participation” in the investigation.
A bench of Justice A S Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli made its earlier order granting protection to Patel absolute.
“This court had in February 2020 issued notice and had granted interim protection. Three-and-a-half years have passed since then. In these circumstances, we see no reason to alter the order at this juncture.
“Hence, the interim protection granted to the petitioner shall continue till the completion of further process, subject to his diligent participation in the process, if called upon to do so,” the bench said while disposing of the plea filed by Patel.
The top court was hearing a 2020 plea filed by Patel challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting his anticipatory bail plea after considering the government’s objection on grounds of his criminal antecedents.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti under Patel had organised a mega rally in Ahmedabad as part of the stir demanding quota for the community in government jobs and an FIR was lodged for “unlawful assembly” as the police claimed the event did not have requisite permissions.
The police had also contended that this unlawful gathering led to violence, in which over a dozen youths were killed and the property was damaged.
In his anticipatory bail plea before the high court, Patel had claimed that he was being “victimised by the ruling party of the state” which has slapped “several false, frivolous and concocted cases against him”.