Exclusive: Listen to Dhaval Patel. This Gujarati journalist was booked under sedition for writing that Vijay Rupani could be replaced as CM - Vibes Of India

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Exclusive: Listen to Dhaval Patel. This Gujarati journalist was booked under sedition for writing that Vijay Rupani could be replaced as CM

| Updated: September 12, 2021 01:07

Dhaval Patel, an Ahmedabad-based journalist, was booked under the draconian sedition law on May 11, 2020, for writing a story indicating that Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani may resign over pandemic mismanagement. After spending 15 days in jail and being part of legal proceedings that went on till December last year, the court finally dropped the charges against him. Patel spoke exclusively to Vibes of India’s reporter, Ashvita Singh, today – the day Rupani resigned as state Chief Minister. Watch the exclusive interview below:

Patel is the editor of a Gujarati news portal ‘Face of Nation’ and was booked by the Ahmedabad Crime branch under Indian penal code Section 124-A for sedition and Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act (punishment for false warning) on May 11, 2020.

Dhaval Patel ahead of his hearing in 2020

It so happened that on May 7, 2020, Patel had uploaded a news item suggesting that BJP high-command may remove Chief Minister Vijay Rupani from his post and replace him with Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya, said the police then. The article further claimed that the high command was not happy with Rupani’s handling of the coronavirus crisis in the state.

Patel was arrested on May 13 and remained in judicial custody from May 14 to May 27 after which a sessions court in Ahmedabad had granted him bail on May 27. The bail was granted on observing that prosecution’s case prima facie did not indicate a serious offence as was being alleged by the state.

However, it was not before Patel submitted an “unconditional apology” letter to the Gujarat High Court, that the FIR was quashed in November 2020. The Gujarat HC had also cautioned Patel that “As and when he may publish an article in the future, no such comments should be used against any constitutional functionaries without verification. And that he shall be cautious of not repeating the same”.

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