AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government Tuesday opposed Congress leader Hardik Patel's plea in the High Court, seeking a stay on a conviction in a rioting case in Visnagar, by producing photographic evidence and documents that it claimed established his presence during the incident.
Patel had on March 12 joined the Congress and soon after moved a petition in the high court, seeking a stay on his conviction by the Visnagar sessions court in the case on the ground he intends to contest the next month's Lok Sabha elections.
The sessions court had awarded him two-year jail term in the 2015 case, which is linked to the Patidar quota agitation led by the 25-year-old leader.
As per norms, he will be barred from contesting the Lok Sabha elections if his conviction is not stayed by the High Court.
The government had, during the previous hearing, submitted an affidavit placing on record list of FIRs lodged against the Patidar leader, while opposing his plea.
On Tuesday, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Visnagar, Mukesh Vyas submitted another affidavit along with documents containing additional materials on record in the court of Justice A G Uraizee.
It contain photographs showing presence of Patel "at the place of the incident on a particular day and also the photograph of the applicant/convict in the mob".
"The incident involving him was also reported in the print media," Vyas said, adding the high court had in December 2015 rejected his petition to quash the FIR filed against him in Visnagar.
"Request this court to not grant any relief in favour of the applicant (Patel) considering the material placed along with the present application as well as the material placed before the court in the earlier affidavit," he said.
The hearing will continue Wednesday.
In July last year, the sessions court at Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced Patel to two years of imprisonment for rioting and arson in Visnagar town in 2015 during the Patidar quota stir.
Although the high court had granted him bail and suspended his two-year sentence in August last year, his conviction was not stayed by the court at that time.
Since he still stands convicted in the case, he cannot contest elections as per a Supreme Court order unless the high court stays his conviction.