Jigar Patel, the chief municipal official of Bhuj in Kutch, was suspended on Saturday after he was allegedly caught dozing while Chief Minister Bhubindra Patel was giving a speech at a public event in Bhuj earlier in the day.

The state government has also transferred Patel to the Regional Commissioner of Municipalities in Rajkot.

Interestingly, Sandipsinh Zala, the then mayor of Morbi, was also transferred to the Regional Commissioner’s office in Rajkot after being suspended from duty last November following the collapse of the Morbi Jolto Pole suspension bridge, which claimed the lives of 135 people. They are still under suspension and are located in the office of the regional commissioner.

The suspended officers are getting alimony allowance from their last post and thus, the Rajkot Commissioner’s Office now has two such officers.

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Former Additional Advocate General Haren Raval, among the group of legal advisors representing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi before the Gujarat High Court on May 2, had his own jokes with the law but was bailed out by the court’s mercy. During the hearing to suspend Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case, Raval’s phone rang. In the usual course, phones must be on silent during court proceedings and phone calls are not allowed in the courtroom. Any breach will lead to confiscation of the phones. However, Rafale was excused by the court. This led to Chief Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi jokingly commenting to the judge, “Your Honor suspends this punishment” – referring to the court’s leniency towards Rafal, prompting laughter from the counsel of the opposing side and the judge.


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