Ahmedabad: Hearing a petition against recent detention of a person under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act in Narmada district, Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notices to state Forest Minister Ganpat Vasava, along with four others including a collector and a top police official.   
 
Justice Paresh Upadhyay, while ordering stay on the criminal actions against the petitioner under PASA Act, has issued notices to state’s Forest Minister besides Collector and Superintendent of Police of Narmada district seeking their responses.

Petitioner Bharat Vasava has claimed that the district collector had issued order for his detention under PASA at the behest of the Minister.

As per the sources, the detention orders were given after the petitioner refused to withdraw his earlier petition moved in the High Court challenging the government’s resolution on changing the roster declared by government for the office of the President of the Rajpipla Municipality.

Roster is a scheme under which the order of the position of president in the municipality is reserved for scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, women or general category.

The petition was moved by Vasava’s wife who is elected to Rajpipla Municipality as a Congress candidate. In the petition, his wife has claimed that the state government had changed the roster from general category and reserved the post of president for a candidate belonging to scheduled tribe.

Subsequently, the High Court stayed the government order on Vasava's wife’s plea and by virtue of it the election for the posts of the president and vice-president could not take place.
In his current petition, Vasava has cited that out of the 27 seats in Rajpipla Municipality, 14 members support Congress while 13 are BJP supporters.

"With an intention to grab the power in the Municipality, the Minister threatened me saying that if my wife does not withdraw the petition and cross over to the BJP with five of her councillors, I will have to face dire consequences," Vasava added in his petition.

He also claimed that the Minister threatened him on May 1, 2013 and the Collector issued orders for his detention under PASA on May 28.

The Collector, as district magistrate, issued the detention order on the ground that in 2004-05, when Vasava was the president of the Municipality had allotted 50,000 sq ft of land without prior sanction from the then Collector.

The petitioner has sought the direction to quash the order of the Collector by declaring it illegal.

(Agencies)

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