The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday sentenced former MLA Mukhtar Ansari to five years’ imprisonment in a 23-year-old case related to the Gangster Act. Justice DK Singh had passed the order of acquittal by the special MP-MLA court in 2020. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Ansari.
The prosecution had presented the gang chart in the court as evidence against the former MLA. “The special MP-MLA court made a gross mistake in acquitting Mukhtar. The gang chart was proved as documentary evidence in the court. Mukhtar is a gangster and has allegedly committed several offences, therefore, he is found guilty of offenses under section 2/3 of the Gangsters Act,” the court said. State counsel Rao Narendra Singh said a case was registered with Lucknow’s Hazratganj police in 1999 and a special court acquitted Ansari in 2020. The state had filed an appeal against the acquittal in 2021.
Arguing for the state government, Additional Government Advocates UC Verma and Rao Narendra Singh submitted that the Hazratganj SHO had registered an FIR in 1999, alleging that Mukhtar and his associates committed murder, extortion, kidnapping and murder. Heinous crimes including kidnapping have been committed. The FIR states that his accomplice Suresh Kumar, along with three-four of his men, was heard saying that gang member Abhay Singh had killed a jail superintendent in the busy Hazratganj area of Lucknow. It was further stated that the gang members were dreaded criminals who commit crimes in an organized manner to accumulate wealth. The complaint states that they created panic in the hearts and minds of the people and no one dared to register an FIR against the gang members.
The general public was feeling insecure and living in fear in Lucknow and its surrounding areas. Accepting the arguments of the prosecution lawyers, Justice Singh observed, “If the prosecution proves that the person belongs to a gang and is involved in causing breach of public order or obtaining any undue temporary and pecuniary material or other advantage for himself, Indulges himself or any other person in committing an offense for the purpose of committing a crime, he may be punished under the Gangster Act. ,
On Wednesday, Mukhtar Ansari was sentenced to seven years in jail for threatening a jailer and pointing a pistol in another case. In 2003, SK Awasthi, the then district jail jailer of Lucknow, lodged an FIR with the Alambagh police alleging that he was threatened when he ordered searches for people who had come to meet Ansari. A trial court had also acquitted Ansari in this case. Mukhtar Ansari is currently lodged in Banda Jail.