Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notice to the state government on the bail plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in connection with the sedition case filed against him in Surat.
Hardik has challenged an order of the Surat sessions court refusing him bail two weeks back. Surat police's crime branch had opposed the bail claiming that Hardik may tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses if released.
Admitting the petition today, Justice A J Desai issued notice to Gujarat government, posting the matter to April 7.
Hardik has been lodged at Lajpore jail in Surat since September last. He is facing another sedition case in Ahmedabad. Chargesheets have been filed in both the cases.
The 22-year-old Patel leader, on October 3 last, allegedly advised a Surat-based activist from his community to kill the policemen rather than ending his life.
"If you have so much courage...Then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide," Hardik allegedly told Vipul Desai, who had announced he would commit suicide in support of the quota agitation.
Following this, Surat crime branch lodged a case of sedition against Hardik and arrested him.
Hardik's lawyer Zubin Bharda today argued that he was only trying to console a friend who wanted to end his life.
What was just a friendly chat between the two friends got embroiled in controversy as tv channels telecast it, he said.
Hardik's aides Ketan Patel, Chirag Patel and Dinesh Bambhaniya, who too are facing sedition charges along with Hardik in Ahmedabad, also moved the High Court today for bail after not getting relief from the sessions court.
Their lawyers also submitted written undertakings wherein they promise to stay away from quota agitation if released.
Justice Desai issued notice to the state government on this too and deferred the hearing to April 7.