Hardik Patel, a Congress leader and former convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had a criminal case dismissed by the Gujarat high court.
He was charged with violating a notification issued by the competent authority for holding a rally ahead of the assembly elections in December 2017.
In this case, the authorities denied permission to two of Patel’s associates to hold a rally on December 10, 2017. Patel staged the demonstration in the western Ahmedabad neighbourhoods of Bopal, Ghuma, Shilaj, and Bhadaj without permission.
Patel and a few others were charged by Bopal police for violating an order issued by an extra district magistrate under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The suspects were charged, and the case has been pending since 2018.
Anand Yagnik, Patel’s lawyer, argued that police cannot file a FIR under Section 188 of the IPC because Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits police from filing a FIR under this section and filing a chargesheet.
It was argued that the officer in question should personally file a complaint before a judicia magistrate for disobeying a government notification. In this case, the police did not file a complaint with the magistrate and instead filed a FIR, which is illegal.
Patel’s quashing petition was strongly opposed by the state government. After hearing the case, Justice Gita Gopi quashed the FIR lodged at the Bopal police station and the chargesheet filed before the judicial magistrate on Wednesday.