NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday said it would hear on March 20 the appeal filed by Congress leader Hardik Patel challenging the Gujarat High Court order which had rejected his anticipatory bail plea in a case related to violence during the Patidar quota stir in 2015.
The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices U U Lalit and Vineet Saran.
The apex court had on February 28 granted interim protection from arrest to Patel in the case lodged in August 2015 and had rapped Gujarat Police, saying it cannot sit over a case for five years.
The top court had asked the police as to why it did not summon or issue notice to Patel for questioning in the case.
The police had told the court that notices for questioning were issued but Patel was not found.
The apex court had issued notice to the police seeking its response on Patel's plea.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti under Patel had organised a mega rally in Ahmedabad as part of the stir, demanding quota for the community in government jobs.
An FIR was lodged for "unlawful assembly" as the police had claimed that the organiser did not have requisite permissions.
The Gujarat High Court had on February 17 rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Patel after considering the objection by police on grounds of his criminal antecedents.
Opposing his plea, the police had told the high court that there were more than 10 criminal cases against Patel, and that he had gone underground fearing arrest.
The police had also contended that the "unlawful" gathering had led to violence, in which over a dozen youths were killed and property was damaged.
In his anticipatory bail plea before the high court, Patel had claimed he was being "victimised by the ruling party of the state" which has slapped "several false, frivolous and concocted cases against him".