The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday stayed criminal proceedings against Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena in a case from 2002 of an alleged assault on social activist Medha Patkar, reported PTI.

The alleged assault took place on April 7, 2002 when Patkar was at the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram to attend a meeting of civil rights activists to appeal for peace in the aftermath of the communal riots in Gujarat. The police registered a case of unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful restraint, intentional insult to provoke breach of trust and criminal intimidation.

The trial of the case is going on at a court in Ahmedabad. Three other accused persons – Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Ellisbridge Amit Shah, Vejalpur BJP MLA Amit Thaker and Congress leader Rohit Patel – underwent cross-examination before the court.

However, Saxena’s lawyer moved an application seeking abeyance of the trial against him for the period he holds the post of the lieutenant governor. Saxena said that he has immunity under Article 361 of the Constitution, which pertains to protection to the president and governors from criminal proceedings.

On May 8, the court had rejected his application, noting that there was no request from the government to stay the trial against him, and that conducting a separate trial would cause difficulties to prosecution witnesses, The Indian Express reported.

Justice MK Thakker on Tuesday stayed the trial proceedings against Saxena till his petition in the High Court is pending.

The case will be heard next on June 19.