Afzal Ansari Appeals Conviction in Gangsters' Act Case After Supreme Court Stay

Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari has appealed his conviction under the Gangsters' Act to the Allahabad High Court, following a Supreme Court stay on his conviction related to the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai. This restores his parliamentary membership and eligibility for future elections.

PTI | Prayagraj | Updated: 21-05-2024 22:37 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 22:37 IST
Afzal Ansari Appeals Conviction in Gangsters' Act Case After Supreme Court Stay
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Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari on Tuesday challenged in the Allahabad High Court his conviction by a Ghazipur trial court in a Gangsters' Act case connected to the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai on the grounds that he was acquitted in the main case.

Senior advocates G S Chaturvedi and Upendra Upadhya, representing Ansari, argued that there were seven accused in the murder case but only Afzal Ansari, his brother and another person, all of whom were politically active, were selectively booked under the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act.

The counsel also submitted before the high court that since he has been acquitted in the murder case, he cannot be convicted in a subsequently imposed case under the Gangsters' Act.

''Besides, the witnesses are the same in both cases,'' Afzal Ansari's counsel said.

After hearing the appellant's counsel, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh directed that the hearing of the appeal would continue on Wednesday.

Now the court will hear the arguments of the state government's counsel.

This high court is also hearing the Uttar Pradesh government's appeal seeking enhancement of Ansari's sentence in the same Gangsters' Act case and a criminal revision filed by Piyush Rai, son of Krishnanand Rai, also seeking enhancement of the sentence.

Earlier, Ansari was disqualified as an MP following a judgment of a special MP-MLA court in Ghazipur on April 29, 2023, as he was convicted and sentenced to four years and fined Rs 1 lakh in the Gangsters' Act case.

Subsequently, he filed the criminal appeal before the high court.

On July 24, 2023, the high court granted bail to Ansari but declined to stay his conviction in the case. As a result, though Afzal was released from jail, his membership in Parliament was not restored.

Further, he also stood disqualified to contest future Lok Sabha election as the sentence awarded was more than two years.

Later, the Supreme Court stayed Ansari's conviction in the case. As a result, his membership of Parliament was restored and he also became eligible to contest the Lok Sabha election. The apex court directed to expedite the hearing of the criminal appeal pending before the high court and directed to decide it by June 30.

Ansari has been fielded by the Samajwadi Party from Ghazipur Lok Sabha constituency. He had won on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket in the last Lok Sabha election.

The Gangsters' Act was registered at the Mohammadabad police station of Ghazipur district on the basis of Ansari's alleged involvement in the murder of Krishnanand Rai in 2005.

The special MP-MLA court, in a judgment dated April 29, 2023, had convicted Ansari along with his younger brother Mukhtar Ansari in a 2007 Gangsters' Act matter. While Afzal Ansari was sentenced to four years, a 10-year jail term was awarded to Mukhtar Ansari.

Mukhtar Ansari, a gangster and a politician, who was serving a jail term, died of cardiac arrest in a hospital in Banda on March 28.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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