Supreme Court Declines to Stay Criminal Proceedings Against UP Congress President Ajay Rai

In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the criminal proceedings against Uttar Pradesh Congress President Ajay Rai. The proceedings pertain to a Gangsters Act case initiated in 2010, for which Rai sought relief from the apex court following an adverse order from the Allahabad High Court.

The vacation bench, comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal, issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, responding to Rai’s plea against the high court’s decision. The matter has been scheduled for a subsequent hearing on July 15.

The origins of the case trace back to an FIR filed on March 26, 2010, by Bhanu Pratap Singh at Chetganj police station in Varanasi. Rai, who has recently faced defeat against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections for a third consecutive time from Varanasi, finds himself entangled in this prolonged legal battle.

The Allahabad High Court had previously dismissed Rai’s petition along with four others, noting that the trial was in an advanced stage with nine witnesses already examined. The court emphasized the undue delay in filing the application under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), asserting that such delays are undesirable at this advanced stage of the trial.

The high court’s verdict was firm in its dismissal of the plea for quashing the proceedings, stating that the application under section 482 CrPC lacked merit. During the high court proceedings, Rai’s counsel had argued that a compromise reached on September 28, 2023, between the applicants and the complainant should warrant the quashing of the trial court proceedings under the same section of CrPC.

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However, the court highlighted that the alleged compromise, relating to the offense under the UP Gangster and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, was insufficient grounds for interference, as it pertains to a special Act.

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