A court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of jailed Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Jetha Bharwad, who had been charged with attempt to murder in a case related to firing during the last month's assembly elections.
"Prima facie a case against the accused has been made out and looking at the conduct of the accused he is not allowed to be released on bail," Principal Sessions Judge D T Soni said, while rejecting the bail application of the MLA.
Four persons were injured on December 17 last year during the second phase of Gujarat Assembly polling when a bodyguard of Bharwad, who later won from Sahera seat in Panchmahal district, opened fire in Tarsang village.
The village falls under his Assembly segment. Bharwad had suffered head injuries in stone pelting by a mob during the firing. He was admitted to a private hospital in Godhra. The police had registered a case of attempted murder against Bharwad, his bodyguard and five others.
On December 18, Bharwad was detained while he was being treated for injuries. The same day he was brought to a private hospital in Ahmedabad for CT scan, but he gave a slip to the police and ran way from the hospital.
Bharwad surrendered before the police the next day after the sessions court here rejected his anticipatory bail plea. After completion of his police remand, the BJP legislator was sent to judicial custody. Bharwad later filed bail plea, on which hearing was concluded on January 4 and the court had reserved its order for Tuesday.
In his application, the ruling party MLA had contended that the firing was carried out in 'self-defence'.
"Though it is still debatable who fired from the weapon, the way he (Bharwad) and his bodyguard were attacked with stones, it (the firing) was carried out in self-defence," J M Panchal, who argued for the BJP legislator, said.
"It was just an act of self-defence and there was no intention to kill anybody," he maintained.
Opposing the bail plea, public prosecutor A A Hasan submitted that Bharwad has a history of indulging in violent acts and cases had been registered against him. He argued that Bharwad was a politically connected person and if released on bail, he might hamper the police investigation or influence witnesses in the firing case.Bharwad is now contemplating to move the Gujarat high court for bail.