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Court serves notice to Surat jail on Hardik’s complaint

Hardik Patel

Surat : A sessions court here today served notice to Lajpore Jail authorities here, asking them why letters written by quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, who is lodged there on sedition charges, were not allowed to be sent outside.

The notice was served by Principal Sessions Judge Geeta Gopi after Hardik’s complaint before the court that jail authorities were not letting pass letters written by him outside the jail premises, when he was being produced before the court as a routine procedure.

This, he said, was being done by the jail authorities despite the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class having allowed him to send letters some three and a half months ago, Hardik’s lawyer Yaswantsinh Vala said.

Vala also said that Hardik has complained that he was not allowed to wear slippers by jail authorities and was brought bare foot to the court today.

Hardik’s complaint (on the letters) come fives days after police seized a letter along with a mobile charger and battery from his possession when he was being escorted out of the jail to be taken to a Visnagar court in connection with another case.

Police have filed two FIRs against Hardik for receiving, bringing or removing “prohibited articles” under sections 43, 44 and 45 (12) of the Prison Act.

Meanwhile, in an additional affidavit filed by the Surat DCB PI J H Dahiya before the court of Geeta Gopi on March 11, police had opposed the bail plea of Hardik.

Police stated in the affidavit that members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) to which Hardik is associated were behind the incident of February 18 in which a mob of 40-odd people put on fire a state transport bus following which an FIR was filed at Sarthana police station under various sections of IPC.

They reasoned in the additional affidavit, that “considering above factors, if the court accepts bail plea of (Hardik), then the possibility of law and order issues arising is not denied, and thus, we request court to reject bail plea of the accused (Hardik).”

Hardik’s lawyer has challenged the application and questioned the motive behind the charges levelled against Hardik, arguing that investigations in cases filed in Sachin police station were being carried by police inspectors of the respective police stations.

The lawyer has also requested the court to ask the DCB to elaborate on charge against Hardik especially as he was never questioned by the DCB sleuths in connection with the case filed in Sarthana police station.

Hardik’s bail plea will come up for hearing in the Surat court on Tuesday where police had filed charge sheet against him on January 8 under sedition.

As many as 11 people were killed during and after the stir in which police accused Hardik of making inflammatory speeches that incited widespread violence.

The court also set March 21 as date for Hardik’s routine production before the court.

Hardik’s lawyers had moved High Court on March 11 seeking his bail in second sedition cases filed against him in Ahmedabad after the city sessions court rejected his bail application on March 8.

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