Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani appeals a 6-month jail term, granted bailtext_fields
Ahmedabad: Jignesh Mevani, a Vadgam MLA, and 18 other people who were convicted to six months in prison by an Ahmedabad magistrate court in Gujarat on September 16 have appealed the decision to the Ahmedabad sessions court.
On October 17 and 20, Judge Alkeshkumar Bhojak of the court of extra sessions accepted five appeals from the 19 people.
The court suspended the punishment imposed by the magistrate court until the appeals were finally decided and further ordered their release on bail upon submitting a personal bond in the amount of Rs 15,000, Indian Express reported.
The issue dates back to 2016, when Dalit leader Mevani, who is also the president of the Gujarat Congress Working Party, and others protested near Vijay Char Rasta in Ahmedabad, calling for the renaming of Gujarat University's Law Bhavan to Ambedkar Bhavan. The protest resulted in a roadblock. The Gujarat University police station received a First Information Report about this.
The 19 were found guilty by the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate P N Goswami of violating Gujarat Police Act sections 110 and 117 (behaving indecently in public and punishment for the same) and IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 149, each of which carry fines of Rs 100. In the case, which involved a total of 20 people, one of the defendants, Dhiraj Priyadarshi, had his charges dropped after passing away in 2019.
Notably, the magistrate court had also delayed the implementation of the order until October 17 to allow the accused to appeal against it at the same time it had announced its judgement of conviction.
Mevani and nine other people were found guilty in May of organising a rally from Mehsana town in July 2017 without receiving permission from the police. The Mehsana magistrate court sentenced all 10 to three months in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on each of the guilty parties. The state is currently asking for a six-month prison sentence to be added to the verdict, which is on appeal. Mevani and nine other people have also appealed the judgement of the Mehsana magistrate court.