Court issues arrest warrant against Hardik Patel, MLA Vasoya

Morbi, Jan 31 (PTI) A court in Gujarat's Morbi district on Friday issued a non-bailable warrant against Congress leader Hardik Patel for skipping a hearing in a 2017 case where he is accused of holding a rally without police permission.

Judicial Magistrate S N Punjani at the court in Tankara town also issued non-bailable warrants against Congress MLA Lalit Vasoya, Amit Thummar and Manoj Kalaria.

Of the 34 accused named in the FIR, one is dead, while 29 others, including another Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara, remained present in the court on Friday.

The magistrate issued warrants against Hardik, Vasoya and the other two for not remaining present despite a bailable warrant issued earlier, and adjourned the hearing to March 27.

While Vasoya represents Dhoraji seat in Rajkot district, Kagathara represents Tankara constituency.

Before being elected on Congress ticket in December 2017 Assembly polls, both were part of Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti which had launched an agitation for quota for the Patidar community during 2015 to 2017.

A case under section 135 of Gujarat Police Act, which deals with `punishment for disobeying police order', was registered against Hardik and others for organizing a public gathering at Tankara in April 2017 without police's permission.

Of the 33 accused, bailable warrants had been issued earlier by the court against seven persons. Among them, Hardik Patel, Vasoya and two others did not turn up even on Friday, while three others remained present.

Hardik Patel, after spending seven days behind bars, was granted bail last week by two courts in different towns of Gujarat. Both the cases were about holding rallies without police permission. PTI COR PJT PD KRK KRK