ANI Photo | SC directs Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency not to be notified of bye-election

In an interim relief, the Supreme Court in a majority judgement by 2:1 suspended the conviction of Afzal Ansari and ordered that the Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency shall not be notified of bye-election, till the decision of Ansari’s appeal by the Allahabad High Court.
The order came from a bench of Justices Surya Kant and Ujjal Bhuyan. However, another judge Justice Dipankar Datta differed with the majority bench order.
“I regret my inability to be ad idem with the majority insofar as grant of relief to the appellant is concerned. I find no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment and order of the High Court. The appeal ought to fail and the same is hereby dismissed,” Justice Datta said in its minority order.
However, Justices Kant and Bhuyan partially allowed the appeal and suspended the conviction awarded to Ansari by the sessions court.
“The Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency shall not be notified for bye-election, in terms of Section 151 of the RPA, till the decision of the Appellant’s criminal appeal by the High Court,” the court said.
The court also directed the Allahabad High Court to endeavour to decide Ansari’s criminal appeal expeditiously and before June 30.
“The Appellant (Ansari) shall, however, not be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the House. He shall also not have the right to cast his vote in the House or to draw any perks or monetary benefits,” the court said in its majority judgement.
“The continuance of MP-led welfare schemes in the Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency without the Appellant (Ansari) being associated for the release of grants for such schemes, is not an irrevocable consequence as all such Schemes can be given effect, even in the absence of
the local parliamentary representative,” the court said in its majority judgement.
“The Appellant (Ansari) shall not be disqualified to contest future election(s) during the pendency of his criminal appeal before the High Court and if he is elected, such an election will be subject to the outcome of the First Criminal Appeal,” the court said.
“…the pending appeal raises significant legal and factual issues, it is exigent that the Appellant’s future not be left hanging in the balance solely due to the said conviction. In such instances, where the Appellant’s disqualification and the State’s criminal proceedings intersect, it becomes incumbent upon the Court in which the appeal is pending, to hear the matter out
of turn and expeditiously adjudicate the same,” the court said in its majority judgment.
Afzal Ansari has challenged the Allahabad High Court order which refused to stay the trial court order convicting him of a Gangster Act Case.
Afzal Ansari was later disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha representing the Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency upon his conviction by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, MP/MLA Court, Ghazipur.
Afzal Ansari, brother of Ex-MLA Mukhtar Ansari, was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment in a Gangster Act case by a trial court in Uttar Pradesh. Later he moved to the Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on his conviction in the matter. Allahabad High Court granted bail to him but refused to stay the trial court order convicting him in the case

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