Allahabad HC Declines to Quash Criminal Proceedings against SP MLA Rafiq Ansari

Rafiq Ansari_LegallySpeaking

The Allahabad High Court has declined to set aside the criminal proceedings against Rafiq Ansari, a Samajwadi Party MLA from Meerut in a 1995 case, citing his failure to appear before the trial court despite approximately 100 non-bailable warrants being issued between 1997 and 2015.

Rejecting an application submitted by Ansari, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh remarked, “Non-execution of non-bailable warrants against the sitting MLA and permitting his participation in assembly sessions would establish a dangerous and flagrant precedent.”

The court further stated that allowing individuals facing serious criminal charges to evade legal accountability “poses a risk of perpetuating a culture of impunity and disregard for the rule of law.”

Ansari had filed an application under section 482 (inherent powers of high court) seeking the dismissal of criminal proceedings pending against him in a criminal case before the MP/MLA court of the additional chief judicial magistrate, Meerut. The case was lodged at Nauchandi police station in Meerut in 1995.

Following the investigation, the initial charge sheet was filed against 22 accused individuals, and subsequently, another supplementary charge sheet was filed against Ansari, which the concerned court acknowledged in August 1997.

As Ansari did not appear before the court, a non-bailable warrant was issued on December 12, 1997. Despite numerous subsequent non-bailable warrants (totaling 101) and processes under section 82 (proclamation for person absconding) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Ansari did not present himself before the trial court.

During the hearing in the high court, Ansari’s counsel requested the dismissal of the criminal proceedings against him, arguing that the 22 accused persons originally charged in the case had already been acquitted after undergoing trial, hence, the proceedings against him should be quashed.

Initially, the court observed that evidence recorded in a criminal trial against any accused is confined to the culpability of that accused only and does not affect a co-accused who has been or will be tried separately.

Dismissing Ansari’s petition, the court remarked that obtaining acquittal by co-accused cannot be considered relevant circumstances or a ground for exercising the power under section 482 CrPC to quash the proceedings against those accused who have not faced trial.

In its order, the court also directed that a copy of its order be sent to the principal secretary of the UP legislative assembly for placement before the Speaker of the state assembly for information. Additionally, the court instructed the director general of police to ensure the service of a non-bailable warrant already issued by the trial court against Ansari, if it has not yet been served.


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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte