On May 25, the Allahabad High Court admitted Disqualified Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Afzal Ansari’s appeal challenging his conviction under the Gangster Act. A Special MP/MLA Court in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur convicted and sentenced him to four years imprisonment in a kidnapping and murder case last month, on April 29.
Afzal Ansari argued that the trial court did not appreciate the evidence correctly and also ignored the defence’s version. The appeal states, “Trial Judge has also not considered the fact that from the evidences available on record, no offence under section 3(1) of The Uttar Pradesh Gangsters & Anti Social Activities (Prevention) Act, made out against the appellant and the Investigating Officer has clearly admitted during cross-examination that no one in the locality has made any complaint against him either before or after the investigation.”
Furthermore, Afzal Ansari’s plea submits that the trial court took into account observations made in another case wherein he was acquitted to convict him in the present case, which is impermissible under law.
Afzal Ansari has also filed an application seeking a stay on his conviction during the pendency of the appeal. The court has sought a reply from the Uttar Pradesh government and the complainant within three weeks on the application for stay. The court has listed the case for the next hearing on July 4.
Ghazipur Court Convicts Ansari Brothers
On April 29, a Special MP/MLA Court convicted Afzal Ansari and his brother, the dreaded gangster and former MLA Mukhtar Ansari, in the operation of the Gangster Act. The case against Afzal Ansari and Mukhtar Ansari was registered for their involvement in the murder of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005. It is pertinent to note that the Special Court sentenced Mukhtar Ansari to ten years imprisonment and imposed a Rs 5 lakh fine in the case.
Krishnanand Rai was an MLA from Muhammadabad and was close to Manoj Sinha, who was a minister for five years in a Union Government from 2014-2019. Afzal Ansari defeated Manoj Sinha to become the MP of Ghazipur.
The killing of Krishnanand Rai in November 2005 was one of the most sensational political murders in history. Krishnanand Rai was killed along with six of his other companions in the mayhem. Unfazed by the regime, the killers fired a total of 400 bullets. After the post-mortem, 67 bullets were discovered and extracted from the bodies of the deceased.
Afzal Ansari Loses Lok Sabha Membership
On May 1, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Afzal Ansari lost his Lok Sabha membership after being sentenced to four years imprisonment. A Lok Sabha Secretariat notification was issued regarding the same. Afzal Ansari was an MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district.
He was disqualified following the operation of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India r/w Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951. It is pertinent to note that u/s 8(3) of the Act, “a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for no less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a period of six years since his release.”
The Lok Sabha Secretariat’s notification reads, “….Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, M.P./M.L.A. Court, Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh in Special Trial/980/2012, Shri Afzal Ansari, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency of Uttar Pradesh stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 29 April, 2023…..”