Allahabad High Court : Hearing in Afzal Ansari’s case deferred till May 20

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Rajesh Pandey

The Allahabad High Court on Monday adjourned till May 20, 2024, the hearing of a criminal appeal filed by member of parliament from Ghazipur , Afzal Ansari challenging his conviction and four years’ sentence in a gangsters Act case by a trial court of Ghazipur. This case under the gangsters’ Act case was imposed on Afzal following the killing of BJP MLA Krishna Nand Rai in the year 2005.

On Monday, counsels, appearing for appellant – Afzal Ansari argued at length. Their arguments will continue on the next date also.

Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh directed to list this criminal appeal filed by Afzal Ansari for next hearing along with the UP government’s appeal seeking enhancement of sentence of ex-MP Afzal Ansari in the same Gangsters’ Act case and criminal revision filed by one Piyush Rai, son of late Krishna Nand Rai also seeking enhancement of sentence awarded to Afzal Ansari in the same case.

Earlier, Afzal was disqualified as an MP following a judgment of special court MP-MLA, Ghazipur dated April 29, 2023 by which he was convicted and sentenced for four years and fined Rs 1 lakh in Gangsters’ Act case. Thereafter, he filed the present criminal appeal before the high court.

Earlier, on July 24, 2023, the high court had granted bail to ex-MP Afzal Ansari but declined to stay his conviction in a Gangsters Act case. As a result, though Afzal was released from jail but his membership of Parliament was not restored. Further, he also became disqualified to contest future Lok Sabha election as the sentence awarded was more than two years. As per a decision of apex court, if a person is awarded a sentence more than two years, he cannot contest the forthcoming assembly and parliamentary election.

However, later the apex court stayed his conviction in this case, as a result, his membership of parliament was restored and he also became eligible to contest the Lok Sabha election. However, the apex court directed to expedite the hearing of the criminal appeal pending before the high court and directed to decide it till June 30.

 The Gangsters’ Act was registered at the police station – Mohammadabad of Ghazipur district on the basis of Afzal’s alleged involvement in the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005.

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

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