Hardik, an accused in two separate cases of sedition registered against him in Surat and Ahmedabad, has been in a Surat jail since his arrest last year.Jailed Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on June 13 told the Gujarat High Court he was ready to accept any condition, including staying out of the state for six months, that it may deem fit for granting him bail. Justice AJ Desai reserved his order on the bail plea after the prosecution and defence counsels concluded their arguments.
Hardik, an accused in two separate cases of sedition registered against him in Surat and Ahmedabad, has been in a Surat jail since his arrest last year in the wake of the violent stir by Patels seeking reservation under OBC category.Opposing the bail plea, government pleader Mitesh Amin told the court that government is apprehensive that Hardik may repeat the offence and his presence outside jail may endanger the law-and-order situation in the state. Countering the argument, Hardik’s lawyer Zubin Bharda said Hardik is fine even if the high court grants him bail on the condition that he stays out of Gujarat for another six months. On this, Amin said keeping Hardik outside Gujarat would not serve the purpose as the latter can continue to incite his community members through social media platforms for which his physical presence in the state won’t be required.
During earlier hearings, the government had declined to accept Hardik’s offer for a written undertaking for bail. The quota leader had stated he will refrain from activities that may affect law-and-order situation, but will “continue to agitate for grievances of the Patidar community in a peaceful and democratic manner”. Hardik had earlier approached the high court for bail after the lower courts in Surat and Ahmedabad (where separate sedition cases are registered against him) refused him any relief. The young Patel leader and his three associates are facing charges under IPC sections 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy). They are accused of inciting violence to put pressure on the government to accept the demand of OBC reservation for Patels.