Krishnanand Rai murder case: Allahabad HC adjourns hearing in Afzal’s appeal against conviction - Hindustan Times
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Krishnanand Rai murder case: Allahabad HC adjourns hearing in Afzal’s appeal against conviction

ByJItendra Sarin, Prayagraj
May 23, 2024 09:40 PM IST

the Gangsters’ Act case was imposed on Afzal following the killing of the then BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005

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 case under the Gangsters Act by a trial court of Ghazipur.

The apex court had directed to expedite the hearing and asked the high court to decide the case by June 30. (For Representation)
The apex court had directed to expedite the hearing and asked the high court to decide the case by June 30. (For Representation)

In the case, the Gangsters’ Act case was imposed on Afzal following the killing of the then BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005.The verdict can influence Afzal’s candidature from Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat from where he is in the fray as a Samajwadi Party candidate. If the high court upholds the trial court verdict, Afzal will be disqualified from contesting elections. Ghazipur goes to the poll in the last phase on June 1.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Afzal’s counsel concluded their arguments. On Thursday, the counsel representing the state government and the counsel representing Piyush Rai, the son of the late Krishnanand Rai, concluded their arguments. Now, the counsel representing appellant, Afzal, will submit their rejoinder reply on Monday (May 27).

After hearing prosecution side, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh directed to adjourn the case to Monday (May 27) for further hearing. Along with the criminal appeal, this court is also hearing connected U.P. government’s appeal seeking enhancement of sentence of Afzal in the same case and criminal revision filed by Piyusha Rai, also seeking enhancement of sentence.

On April 29, 2023, an MP-MLA court of Ghazipur convicted Afzal and sentenced him to four years and imposed a fine of 1 lakh in the case. His younger brother Mukhtar Ansari too was sentenced to 10 years in jail in the case. Following this, Afzal was disqualified as an MP. Thereafter, he filed the present criminal appeal before the high court.

On July 24, 2023, the high court granted bail to the five-time MLA and two-time MP but declined to stay his conviction in the case. As a result, though Afzal was released from jail, his Lok Sabha membership was not restored. Further, he also became disqualified to contest future polls as the sentence awarded was more than two years.

Later, the Supreme Court stayed his conviction. As a result, his membership was restored and he also became eligible to contest the Lok Sabha election. However, the apex court directed to expedite the hearing of the criminal appeal pending before the high court and asked it to decide the case by June 30.

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