Gujarat High Court Yesterday quashed the First Information Report against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel so far as it relates the offences under Section 153A, 505(2) and 506. The Court also directed the police to proceed with the investigation on allegation of Sedition [S.124A] since a prima facie Case is made out against him.
“It is the fundamental right of every citizen to have his own political theories and ideas and to propagate them and work for their establishment so long as he does not seek to do so by force and violence or contravene any provision of law. The demand for reservation for the members of the Patidar Patel community by itself is not an offence. It is open to the members of the Patidar Patel community to seek reservation, if available in law or the State Government, by way of a policy decision, deems fit to provide. It is also open to demand for reservation by peaceful means, ceaselessly fighting public opinion that might be against them and opposing those who desired the continuance of the existing order of the society and the Government. What is not permissible in order to attain such object is any act which have the effect of bringing or which attempt to bring into hatredness or contempt or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law”. Justice J.B.Pardiwala said in his Judgment
He rejected the contention that the advice alleged to have been given by Patel was to kill 4 to 5 police officers had nothing to do so far as the Government is concerned. Court also rejected the contention that that a police force at best could be termed as one of the agencies of the State Government, and any attack of any nature on the police force would not amount to subverting the Government established by law.
“Many innocent persons lost their lives which included a police officer. Many Police Stations, Public buses, etc. were set on fire. Extensive damage was caused to the Government properties. In this background, it would be appropriate to infer at this primary stage from the text and tenor of the statement or the words spoken by the applicant that the same was intended and it did bring the Government in the contempt with the likelihood of eruption of violence and public disorder. In terms of the ratio of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Kedar Nath Singh , the applicant has yet to undergo the trial, if the chargesheet is filed. The fact of the matter is that the chargesheet has not been filed till this date, and the investigation is still in progress. It may not be appropriate to dilate on the merit of this case so far as Section 124A is concerned”, said the Court
As far as S.153A is concerned, the Court held as follows;
“although it could be said that the members of the Patidar Patel community have been provoked, but such provocation has nothing to do with any other religion, race or linguistic or regional group or community. The police force of the State cannot be brought within the purview of the term "community".
Read the Judgment here.