Allahabad Court declines to stay criminal proceedings against Meerut MLA Rafiq Ansari

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Rajesh Pandey

The Allahabad High Court has declined to quash the criminal proceedings against Meerut MLA Rafiq Ansari in a 1995 case, saying that he failed to appear before the court despite the issuance of around hundred non-bailable warrants (NBW) between 1997 and 2015.
Dismissing an application filed by Rafiq Ansari, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh observed, “Non execution of non-bailable warrant against the sitting MLA and allowing him to participate in assembly session will set a perilous and egregious precedent”.

The court added that by allowing individuals facing serious criminal charges to evade legal accountability, we risk perpetuating a culture of impunity and disrespect for the rule of law.

Rafiq Ansari, who is sitting MLA from Meerut had filed an application under section 482 (inherent powers of high court) seeking quashing of criminal proceedings pending against him in a criminal case pending before the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate, MP/MLA, Meerut. Earlier, the case was registered at police station – Nauchandi, Meerut in1995.

 

 

After the investigation, the first charge sheet was submitted against 22 accused persons, and thereafter, another supplementary charge sheet was submitted against the applicant Ansari, of which the concerned court took cognizance in August 1997.

 

Because Ansari had not appeared before the court, a non-bailable warrant was issued on December 12, 1997. Afterwards, despite repeated non-bailable warrants (101 in number) and processes under section 82 (proclamation for person absconding) criminal procedure code (CrPC), the applicant did not appear before the trial court.

During the court proceedings, the counsel for Ansari sought quashing of the criminal proceedings against the applicant on the ground that 22 accused persons, originally charged in the case, have already been acquitted after facing trial, hence, proceedings against him should be quashed.

 

At the outset, the court noted that evidence recorded in a criminal trial against any accused is confined to the culpability of that accused only and does not have any bearing upon a co-accused who has been or will be tried separately.

 

As such, the court observed that securing acquittal by co-accused cannot be considered relevant circumstances and a ground for exercising the power under section 482 CrPC to quash the proceedings against those accused, who have not faced trial.

 

Against this backdrop, the court in its decision dated April 29 dismissed his petition and directed that a copy of its order be sent to the principal secretary of the UP legislative assembly for placement before the speaker of the state assembly for information.

 

The court also directed the director general of police (DGP), state of UP, to ensure the service of a non-bailable warrant already issued by the trial court against Ansari, if the same has not yet been served, and a compliance affidavit shall be filed on the next date. The court directed to list this case on July 22, 2023 for the limited purpose of filing a compliance affidavit.

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