Hardik Patel may not be able to contest in this general elections as the Supreme Court has declined an urgent hearing in his case. Patel had moved to the apex court seeking suspension of his conviction in the case in which he was found guilty of rioting and arson during the Patidar quota stir in 2015.
As per rules and the Representation of the People (RP) Act, a political candidate, who was convicted and facing a prison term of two years or more cannot contest the elections, unless the same is stayed by a court. This means Patel may not be able to contest in the polls as the last date of filing of the nomination papers for Lok Sabha elections 2019, is April 04. The polls are to be held in seven phases from 11th April to 19th May.
Patel joined the Congress on March 12 and had reportedly been preparing to contest from the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat.
Opposing his plea, the state had told the High Court that there were as many as 17 FIRs, including two sedition complaints, against Patel.Challenging the High Court order, Patel said in his appeal before the Supreme Court that suspension of his conviction would not cause any prejudice as his sentence already stands suspended.
Patel claimed he would suffer “irreparable loss” if the conviction was not stayed as he will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha elections.