Ahmedabad: Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and his aide were on Tuesday granted bail by a Surat court in connection with an FIR lodged against them for blocking a National Highway passing through Kamrej area of the district.
The Kamrej Police had on 18 October arrested several members of Hardik's Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) for blocking the highway, soon after the 22-year-old Patel quota agitation spearhead was arrested in Rajkot ahead of an India-Australia match.
The police later added Hardik's name in the FIR after his aide told them that they were acting after receiving instructions from him over phone. They were booked under section 188 of the IPC.
The court of Judicial Magistrate First Class JD Solanki on Tuesday granted permanent bail to Hardik and his aide Alpesh Kathiria against a bond of Rs 7,500 each.
In a parallel development, a sessions court in Ahmedabad today deferred hearing on Hardik's bail plea in a sedition case to 9 February, as the investigating officer from the city crime branch could not file reply against the plea.
Additional Sessions Judge NG Dave set the date for bail plea hearing on February 9, after he was informed that the investigating officer has gone to the Supreme Court in connection with the same case, and needed more time to file his reply against the bail plea.
Hardik and five his aides are facing charges under IPC section 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) in the case filed against them in Ahmedabad city.
In a charge sheet filed on 18 January, the Ahmedabad crime branch police had termed the quota agitation spearheaded by Patel as a "pre planned conspiracy" that was hatched to put pressure on the state government to accept their "unconstitutional demand of quota."
The police had maintained in their charge sheet that "inflammatory messages sent by Hardik Patel and his aide caused violence."
In reply to the charge sheet, Hardik had filed his bail pleas both in Surat and Ahmedabad sessions courts on 22 January.
The Surat sessions court had also yesterday deferred hearing on his bail application till 8 February, in another sedition case lodged there.
Hardik is facing two sedition cases against him in Surat and in Ahmedabad. He is currently lodged at the Lajpore jail in Surat.