Allahabad High Court Adjourns Hearing in Criminal Appeal of MP Afzal Ansari Until June 3

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday postponed the hearing of the criminal appeal filed by Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari to June 3, 2024. The adjournment came after Ansari’s counsel requested additional time to file objections against a plea seeking to enhance his sentence in a case under the Gangsters Act.

In April 2023, a trial court in Ghazipur had convicted Ansari, sentencing him to four years in jail and imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh for his involvement in the case connected to the 2005 killing of then BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai. His younger brother, Mukhtar Ansari, also a gangster-turned-politician, received a 10-year jail sentence but died of a heart attack in March.

Alongside Ansari’s appeal, the Allahabad High Court is simultaneously hearing the Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal and a criminal revision filed by Krishnanand Rai’s son, Piyush Kumar Rai. Both are advocating for a harsher penalty for Ansari.

Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh of the High Court granted Ansari’s legal team a week to file their counter-affidavit in response to the enhancement requests. The case, together with related appeals, is scheduled for further proceedings on the set date.

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Despite being granted bail by the High Court on July 24, 2023, Ansari’s conviction led to his disqualification as an MP, preventing him from contesting future elections due to the sentence exceeding two years. However, the Supreme Court later stayed his conviction, restoring his Parliamentary membership and his eligibility to contest the Lok Sabha elections.

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