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Gujarat HC judge recuses self from Modi poll code breach case

A Gujarat High Court judge today recused himself from hearing the alleged poll code breach case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Not before me,” Justice U R Udhvani said when public prosecutor Mitesh Amin sought a date for the next hearing as Advocate General K G Trivedi was not present to make submissions on behalf of the state government.

The development came in connection with a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker Nishant Verma against the verdict of a local court, which had in May this year dismissed his plea seeking action against Modi for allegedly breaching poll code on April 30 last year ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier, Justice Udhvani had on September 28 first admitted the plea and then withdrew the permission (to admit it) after the Advocate General sought some more time. The High Court judge had then granted time till today.

Verma had filed the petition before the High Court after Ahmedabad rural court’s Chief Judicial Magistrate S R Sinh had dismissed his plea, holding that the probe of the city crime branch, which had filed closure report giving a clean chit to Modi, was just and proper.

On April 30 last year, when the voting was underway on the 26 Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat, Modi had addressed a press conference immediately after he voted at a school in Ranip area of the city and displayed his party’s symbol lotus.

According to the court procedure, the matter will now be referred to the acting Chief Justice of the High Court.