In a setback for activist-turned politician Hardik Patel, the Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the 2015 Mehsana riots case.
As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, he would not be able to contest the coming general election due to his conviction.
The Patidar quota leader recently joined Congress and was keen on contesting scheduled Lok Sabha election.
The State government consistently opposed his plea and said that a law-breaker cannot be a lawmaker as Hardik Patel had consistently broken the laws during and after the Patidar quota agitation in 2015 and afterwards.
Justice Uraizee of the High Court observed in his order that Mr. Patel had several criminal cases and 17 FIRs registered against him in various places despite an undertaking. The High Court granted him bail and suspended his sentenced in August 2018, but his conviction was not stayed by the court.
In July 2018, the session court at Visnagar sentenced him to two years imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the 2015 stir that originated in North Gujrat but rapidly spread to Patidar dominated pockets across the state.