Gujarat HC extends interim relief to Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena in Medha Patkar assault casetext_fields
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has granted extended interim relief to Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena in a case related to the assault of social activist Medha Patkar.
Saxena had sought a stay on the proceedings until he is in office, and the court of Justice Samir Dave has stayed the criminal trial against Saxena until the final disposal of his plea. The court has also included the Centre as a party to the litigation. The matter has been scheduled for further hearing on August 29.
The case dates back to an incident in 2002 when a group of individuals allegedly attacked Medha Patkar during a peace meeting following the Gujarat riots. Saxena and three others are accused of assaulting her during the gathering at the Gandhi Ashram. On May 8, the metropolitan magistrate PC Goswami declined to stay the trial against Saxena.
During the recent hearing, Medha Patkar opposed Saxena's plea challenging the trial court order. Her lawyer, Anand Yagnik, requested the government to file a detailed affidavit as the case is serious and involves the interpretation of the Constitution. Saxena's lawyer, Jal Unwala, argued that the trial court had not addressed the issue of whether the Lt Governor could be granted immunity under Article 361 of the Constitution.
In his plea, Saxena argued that the trial court had made an erroneous observation regarding the examination of witnesses if protection was granted to him, causing further delays in the trial process. Saxena contended that even if the trial concluded, he would be protected under Article 361 of the Indian Constitution and would not be subject to custody.
The trial in the case is currently underway in a metropolitan court in Gujarat.
The cross-examination of the other accused individuals, including Ellisbridge MLA Amit Shah, Vejalpur MLA Amit Thaker, and Congress leader Rohit Patel, has been completed. Saxena's lawyer filed an application seeking abeyance of the trial against him based on his claim of immunity under Article 361. The court's decision to grant extended interim relief to Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena provides temporary respite in the ongoing case.