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Gujarat High Court to hear Hardik Patel's plea on Friday

Hardik's delay condonation plea is to be decided first before the court can go ahead with his quashing plea

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The Gujarat High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing in the plea filed by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel to condone the delay in approaching the court for quashing of the charges fra-med against him in the Surat sedition case.

The court will now hear the case on Friday.

A single judge bench of the court adjourned the hearing after the public prosecutor submitted that he will have to take instructions in the matter. Hardik's delay condonation plea is to be decided first before the court can go ahead with his quashing plea.

Apart from the quashing of charges, he has also requested the high court to stay the criminal proceedings pending against him before a Surat sessions court till his plea is decided.

Notably, sedition charges were levelled against the firebrand leader for allegedly inciting a fellow PAAS activist to kill policemen rather than committing suicide on October 3, 2015. An FIR in this regard was registered in the Amroli police station on October 18, 2015, and the Surat sessions court framed the charges on March 22, 2018. The charges framed against the Patidar leader include sedition, giving false information to screen offenders, and abetment of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Patel has contended in his petition that the charges framed against him by the Surat court should be quashed and he should be acquitted in the matter as he has been falsely framed. He has also contended that there is no evidence collected by the investigation agency—Surat Crime Branch—to frame charges against him. Also, the PAAS leader claimed that the FIR and subsequent probe in the matter were conducted due to political vendetta.

During the last hearing too, the hearing on the delay condonation plea of the Patidar leader was adjourned due to the unavailability of the public prosecutor.

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