Hearing in Krishnanand Rai case adjourned till June 3

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday adjourned till June 3, 2024 the hearing of a criminal appeal filed by Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari challenging his conviction and four years’ sentence in a Gangsters Act case by a trial court of Ghazipur.

 

This case was imposed on Afzal following the killing of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005.

 

Along with this present criminal appeal, this court is also hearing connected UP govt’s appeal seeking enhancement of sentence of Afzal in the same case and criminal revision filed by Piyush Kumar Rai, son of Krishnanand Rai, also seeking enhancement of sentence.

 

During the course of hearing on Monday, the counsel for the Afzal (appellant) sought time to file objections in connected criminal revision filed by Piyush Kumar Rai and also in Government Appeal, where a common request has been made to enhance the sentence of appellant.

 

Agreeing to the request of appellant’s counsel, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh granted a week’s time to file objection/counter affidavit. According the court directed to list this criminal appeal on June 3, 2024 along with connected cases for further hearing.

 

An MP-MLA court of Ghazipur had on April 29, 2023, convicted Afzal and sentenced him to four years jail and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh in the Gangsters’ Act case. His younger brother Mukhtar Ansari too was sentenced to 10 years in jail in the case.

 

Following this, Afzal was disqualified as an MP. Thereafter, he filed the present criminal appeal before the high court.

 

On July 24, 2023, the high court had granted bail to the five-time MLA and two-time MP but declined to stay his conviction in the case. As a result, though Afzal was released from jail, his membership of Parliament was not restored. Further, he also became disqualified to contest future polls as the sentence awarded was more than two years.

 

However, later the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, 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 the HC to expedite the hearing and decide the case by June 30.

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