Hardik moves HC against interception of phone calls by cops

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Thursday moved the Gujarat High Court.

Ahmedabad: Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Thursday moved the Gujarat High Court challenging the interception of his and his associates' phone calls by the police and seeking an independent inquiry into it.

"The petitioner challenges the legality...Of unlawfully tapping telephones not only of the petitioner but of several thousands persons of the Patidar community...Which they (police) have admitted in the FIR against the petitioner," said his plea calling it the "grossest violation of personal liberty".

Hardik's father Bharat Patel filed the petition on his behalf as Hardik himself is in the custody of police here.

The city crime branch had on October 21 registered an FIR against Hardik and his aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel on charges of sedition and waging war against the government. The FIR mentions details of call interceptions of the Patel leaders.

The Patel leaders and members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti conspired to topple the state government, it alleges.

When Hardik was produced before a magistrate, it was revealed that the police had started tapping the phones in August, though the permission for it was obtained only on October 3.

Hardik's petition, filed through his lawyer B M Mangukia, is likely to be heard on November 2.

The 22-year-old firebrand leader is also facing a sedition case in Surat for allegedly advising a Patel youth "to kill policemen rather than committing suicide".

Meanwhile, Chirag Patel's father today wrote to the city Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha alleging that the crime branch official tried to pressurise him to make his son withdraw a habeas corpus petition before the High Court charging Hardik was abducted by some people last month. 

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