An article regarding Vijay Rupani being replaced was written on May 7, 2020, by Dhaval Patel, an editor with Gujarati News.
The article talked of a possible change of leadership in Gujarat, titled “Mansukh Mandviya Called By The High Command In Delhi, Probability Of Changes In The Leadership Of Gujarat.”
Mandaviya, a member of parliament in Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, was the Union Minister of state for shipping and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers. In the recent changes, he is now the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare as well as Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers.
A complaint was booked against Patel by Sub-inspector S J Desai, posted at the Ahmadabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) under section 124A (Sedition) of IPC, and a false warning under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act on May 11, 2020. Patel was accused of trying to create unrest in society and was arrested on May 14. The Court granted him bail after spending 14 days in Judicial Custody.
On May 27, while granting bail to Patel, the Ahmadabad court observed that the prosecution’s prima facie failed to show a severe offense as alleged by the state
Also, a top police official said Patel’s arrest was based on a complaint booked by the police themselves after investigation, and no political person made any complaint.
The article summarized that cases of Covid-19 are rising in Gujarat rapidly, and CM failed in managing the situation and as New Delhi has taken its cognizance. Mansukh Mandviya was called by high command to discuss this matter as he has an image of being a trusted delegate of the Prime Minister.
The PM and high command were concerned with the work of Rupani, due to which high command had instituted IAS officers army at the places where covid cases are rising. They have been given all sorts of freedom, according to the sources.
Even during Anandiben’s time, there was no information that she was going to go, and all of a sudden, she posted her resignation on Facebook.
The article was later taken down, and the FIR was quashed after Patel submitted an “unconditional apology” before Gujarat High Court by cautioning Patel.
He was cautioned that whenever he may publish an article in the future, no comments be used against any constitutional functionaries without any verification and shall be cautious of not repeating the same.
On Saturday, Mr. Patel moved out of India after the FIR was quashed, calling Rupani’s resignation a vindication of what he mentioned.
Patel also said that he reported based on the confirmation from the trusted sources and cross verification. The Sedition case was also a way of pressurizing journalists given Corona context.
What is Sedition
It is a crime against the state or an act of spreading disaffection among people against the government.
Section 124 A of IPC talks about the punishment of Sedition.
It reads as, whoever by words (spoken or written), by signs or visible representation or attempt to bring hatred or contempt, excites or attempts to excite disaffection (loyalty) towards the government in India, shall be penalized with imprisonment for life.
A fine may also be added, or imprisonment, which can lead up to three years, in addition to the fine.