Allahabad HC adjourns hearing in criminal appeal of Afzal Ansari till May 27

Prayagraj, May 23 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court on Thursday adjourned till May 27 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.

The case under the Gangsters Act was registered against Ansari following the killing of BJP MLA Krishna Nand Rai in 2005.

Ansari is fighting from Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat as a Samajwadi Party candidate. If the high court upholds the trial court verdict, he will be disqualified from contesting the elections. Ghazipur goes to polls on June 1.

On Tuesday, Ansari’s counsels had concluded their arguments in the high court.

On Thursday, the counsels representing the state government and the counsel for Piyush Rai, son of late Krishna Nand Rai, concluded their arguments.

Now, the Ansari’s counsels will again submit their rejoinder reply on May 27.

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

Subsequently, Ansari 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 he was released from jail, his membership of Parliament was not restored.

Further, he also stood disqualified to contest elections 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 elections. 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.

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