Gujarat HC Grants Interim Relief to AAP Lok Sabha candidate, Suspends Bail Conditions

AAP Candidate

The Gujarat High Court granted interim relief to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Bharuch Lok Sabha candidate Chaitar Vasava by suspending the bail condition that restricted him from entering the limits of Narmada district until the trial conclusion in a 2023 rioting case.

The Judge

Justice M R Mengdey, noting the applicant’s statutory right as an Indian citizen to contest elections, granted Vasava interim relief until June 12, the next hearing date in the case.

Chaitar Vasava

Vasava had moved the High Court seeking exemption from the bail condition imposed by a sessions court, which prohibited him from entering Narmada district and residing in both Narmada and Bharuch districts. Some areas of Narmada district fall under the Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency, from which Vasava is the AAP nominee for the May 7 polls.

The Court observed that contesting an election is a statutory right of the applicant as a citizen of India and ordered the suspension of the imposed conditions until the next hearing.

Sessions Court

On January 22, a sessions court in Dediapada, Narmada district, granted Vasava bail in the rioting case with the condition that he reside outside Narmada and Bharuch districts and provide details of his address and mobile number.

This condition prevented him from campaigning for the election. Despite Vasava’s efforts to lift the bail condition through a local court, his application was rejected, leading him to approach the HC.

Vasava was charged in November 2023 under various IPC sections related to rioting, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation, obstructing a public servant, extortion, and the Arms Act. The case stemmed from an incident where Vasava allegedly threatened forest officers and fired in the air while attempting to resolve a dispute concerning forest land cultivation by local tribals in Narmada district.

Vasava informed the High Court that when the sessions court imposed the condition, he sought relief due to the potential harm to his political career, as the case’s trial is expected to take time.

The Gujarat government opposed Vasava’s application, arguing that certain conditions were imposed considering his conduct and that he had misused the liberty granted by the sessions court by making unwarranted statements.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte