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Consoling a Friend is not Sedition, Argues Hardik's Lawyer

The lawyer of the jailed quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today argued before the Surat sessions court .

Published: 24th February 2016 09:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2016 09:57 PM   |  A+A-

Hardik Patel_AFP

Hardik Patel (File|AFP)

By PTI

SURAT: The lawyer of the jailed quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today argued before the Surat sessions court that a personal talk with a friend cannot be used as a ground to slap the serious charge of sedition.

Hardik, who is leading the Patel community's agitation for reservations, has sought bail from the Surat court. Apart from Surat, he is facing a sedition case in Ahmedabad too.

At present he is lodged in Lajpore jail here.

After hearing the arguments of Hardik's lawyer Zubin Bharda, principal district judge Geeta Gopi adjourned the hearing to February 26 when the public prosecutor is expected to argue.

Surat police registered a case of sedition against Hardik on October 18 last year for allegedly advising a Patel youth, Vipul Desai, to kill policemen rather than committing suicide.

"If you have so much courage...then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide," Hardik allegedly told Desai on October 3 in front of TV reporters.

Advocate Bharda today argued that Hardik's conversation with Desai was personal and not meant for telecast as he had not invited the reporters of news-channels to cover his informal meeting with Desai.

The Patel leader was only trying to console Desai, his friend, he said, adding such a personal communication can not be used as a ground for sedition charge.

While the meeting with Desai took place on October 3, the FIR was filed on October 18. In the meantime Desai or any other Patel youth did not indulge in violence, which proved that Hardik did not mean to instigate the agitators, the lawyer said.

Also, as the charge sheet was already filed, Hardik should be given bail, he added.

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