Blow to Hardik’s poll dreams, SC not hearing ‘urgently’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined an urgent hearing of Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s plea for a stay on his 2018 conviction in a 2015 rioting case that has all but ended his chances of contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Patidar leader, who had joined the Congress on March 12, had sought the stay to pave way for him contesting the general elections that kick off on April 11.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra declined to hear the matter urgently observing that the conviction sought to be stayed relates to a 2015 case.

The conviction and sentence in the case was pronounced in July 2018.

Patel, who was being projected to be a candidate for the Jamnagar seat in Gujarat, has challenged the March 29 Gujarat High Court order rejecting his plea.

The High Court did not accept his plea that said “an irreparable loss” would be caused to him if he was not able to contest the Lok Sabha elections.

The Patidar leader sought the stay of the Mehsana court decision convicting him for involvement in the rioting and arson case at Visnagar during the Patel agitation in 2015.

The Mehsana court had ordered a two-year imprisonment in July 2018. So long as he remains convicted, Patel stands barred from contesting polls.