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Mukhtar Ansari won't campaign in UP polls, Delhi HC refuses parole

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday refused parole to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari to campaign in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh election.

Justice Mukta Gupta accepted the Election Commission’s plea to cancel parole granted to Ansari who is the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate from the Mau Sadar constituency.

The Uttar Pradesh government, too, had opposed the relief granted to the MLA by a trial court.

Mau Sadar goes to the polls on March 4, the sixth and second-last phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh.

“When a person in custody fills up a nomination for candidature, he does not get a vested right to be released for canvassing,” the judge said, adding Ansari’s release till March 4, from 7am to 8pm, was “akin to a temporary bail”.

“The impugned order is thus ex-facie illegal and is set aside on this count itself,” she said.

Ansari’s release would come in the way of free and fair election, the Election Commission told the court following which it stayed the trial court order on February 17.

The UP government and the complainant in the murder case also moved the high court, opposing Ansari’s release from a Lucknow jail, saying he might influence witnesses in the 2005 murder case of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in which he is facing trial.

A four-time legislator from Mau Sadar, Ansari is in jail since 2005. He has more than 40 criminal cases, including those of murder and kidnapping, against him.

His counsel told the high court that the representation of the people act gave Ansari the right to contest election as well as campaign.

The poll panel said there was a huge deployment of police across the state for the assembly election and it couldn’t spare personnel to guard Ansari during campaigning.

The Uttar Pradesh government, too, expressed its inability to provide police cover, saying “if something happens (after Ansari’s release) state will not be blamed”.

Rai and his six supporters were shot dead in Bhanwarkol area of Ghazipur district on November 29, 2005. The case was transferred from Ghazipur to Delhi by the Supreme Court in 2013 on the plea of Rai’s wife Alka.

Source: HindustanTimes