THE DELHI High Court on Friday granted three-day interim stay on custody parole granted by a trial court to gangster-turned-politician and MLA Mukhtar Ansari for canvassing in the UP polls. Ansari is contesting the polls from Mau Sadar constituency on a BSP ticket. Justice Mukta Gupta passed the order, staying the custody parole till February 20, after the Election Commission (EC) moved the high court seeking cancellation of Ansari’s parole — granted by a special court in Delhi — on the ground that he may influence witnesses in the 2005 murder case of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, in which he is facing trial. The court will hear the case next on Monday, by when the accused would have to file his response to the EC plea.
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The special court, on Thursday, had granted custody parole to Ansari from February 16 and till March 4 to campaign. On Friday, the EC had moved the high court seeking quashing of the parole. When contacted, EC’s standing counsel Amit Sharma, who was present in the court, said: “We prayed the court to quash the special court order giving parole custody to Mukhtar Ansari on legal and merit grounds. Since Mukhtar is not a convicted prisoner, hence giving parole custody is against parole guidelines. We also brought in notice of court that Mukhtar has long criminal history and for fair trial of the Krishnanand Rai murder case, the Supreme Court had transferred the case from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.”
Rai, along with six supporters, was shot dead in Bhanwarkol area in Ghazipur district on November 29, 2005. The case was transferred from Ghazipur in UP to Delhi by the Supreme Court in 2013 on a plea filed by Alka Rai, wife of Rai. “Hearing our plea, Justice Mukta Gupta granted interim stay against the custody parole given to Mukhtar Ansari till Monday,” said Sharma. A four-time MLA from Mau Sadar, Mukhtar is in jail since 2005. He has more than 40 criminal cases against him, including murder and kidnapping. The BSP had welcomed him and his family in January this year after his Qaumi Ekta Dal merged with the party ahead of the UP elections.