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Court refuses to quash sedition charges against Hardik

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday turned down a petition to quash sedition charges against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel.

Continuing his hearing on the petition filed by Patel’s father Bharat Patel, a BJP activist, on October 20, Justice J.B. Pardiwala rejected the plea, days after Hardik Patel served a five-day police remand in Surat.

While a plea for his further remand was rejected by a metropolitan court in Surat, Hardik Patel found himself in the Ahmedabad Crime Branch police net again on sedition charges on him and five close associates.

They are all on police remand for a week.

The sedition charge was slapped on Hardik Patel, 22, last week after he advised a Surat youth, Vipul Desai, not to think of committing suicide but show courage to kill a policeman or two.

Desai had announced that he would commit suicide to press for the demand for reservation for the Patels under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in government jobs and educational institutions.

Hardik Patel had called on Desai on October 3 when he took a TV channel reporter with him. Once the channel aired his remarks, it went viral on the social media.

The Crime Branch in Ahmedabad claimed they have telephone call records of conversations between the PAAS leaders and their supporters in which Hardik Patel and his associates allegedly incite youngsters to resort to violence against police and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.

It was on this basis that the agitators faced sedition charges in Ahmedabad, police said.

Meanwhile the Crime Branch suspended a police constable and a computer operator for taking a selfie picture with Hardik Patel after the photograph went viral on social network.

A departmental inquiry has been ordered against the suspended policemen.

(IANS)

 

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Begging No More a Criminal Offence: Delhi High Court

The bench decriminalised begging and said that prosecution under the provisions of the Act was "unconstitutional".

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Begging in India. Image source: theindiansociety.org

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence and struck down laws penalizing it.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar struck down the provisions prosecuting begging under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.

The bench decriminalised begging and said that prosecution under the provisions of the Act was “unconstitutional”.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence. Wikimedia Commons
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence. Wikimedia Commons

However, the court granted liberty to the Delhi government to bring in alternative legislation to curb the racket of forced begging after undertaking an empirical examination on the sociological and economic aspect of the matter.

The court was hearing two public interest litigations by Harsh Mandar and Karnika Sawhney to seek basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in the national capital and for decriminalising begging.

Also Read: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Rapped by Delhi High Court for Questioning Judge’s Decision

The pleas also sought basic amenities such as proper food and medical facilities at all beggar homes in Delhi. (IANS)