The “Inaction” of the UP government in the “Hisab Kitab” remark case led the Court to grant interim relief to MLA Abbas Ansari: Allahabad High Court

In the case of Abbas Ansari and Another v. State Of U.P. and 2 Others [APPLICATION U/s 482 No. 25838 of 2022), Abbas Ansari, a Mau Sadar MLA and the son of imprisoned politician Mukhtar Ansari, received relief from the Allahabad High Court today in the Hisab-Kitab Remark case. Due to the UP Government’s failure to submit a rebuttal affidavit in the case, the Court has stayed an order from the Mau Court that would have taken cognizance of several counts under the IPC against him. In order to provide context, it should be noted that the Justice Samit Gopal bench is currently hearing a charge sheet quashing plea submitted by Ansari in connection with the Hisab-Kitab Remark case, in which he is accused of making a statement threatening to exact revenge on government officials if the SP-SBSP alliance forms government in the state in March 2022.

Facts: Abbas Ansari, a member of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP)-Samajwadi Party coalition who ran for and won the UP Assembly elections, allegedly stated during a public rally that no government employees would be transferred for the first six months following the formation of the State’s government because he had a score to settle with them. A first information report has been filed against him under Sections 171F [Punishment for undue influence or personation during an election] and 506 [Punishment for criminal intimidation] of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, in connection with his alleged comment against the government employees. Ansari has petitioned the High Court in an effort to have the charge sheet dismissed. The attorney for Ansari has claimed before the court that Section 506 was added as a result of Section 171F even though the offence under that section is not cognizable. Furthermore, it was argued that since the neighbourhood police wished to detain the petitioners, more serious offences like Section 153A IPC had been added against Ansari.

Judgement: It should be noted that the UP Government was ordered to provide information regarding the criminal history of Mau Sadar MLA Abbas Ansari last month; however, on October 14, when the state requested an additional 10 days to file an affidavit, the Court, appalled at the state government’s inaction, made the following observation: “Since the learned attorney for the State was given time to provide a reply affidavit roughly a month ago, no counter affidavit has been submitted, and another request for time is being made in this regard. If this is the case, the applicants unquestionably require some security.” The Special Judge (M.P./M.L.A.) Court/Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Senior Division), Mau’s order was accordingly directed to be suspended, and the matter was scheduled for a subsequent hearing on November 11, 2022. The Court went on to say that the State’s failure to file a rebuttal affidavit was the only reason it was unable to stop this order from being made. The petitioners’ attorney further maintained that the Election Commission of India had never issued a directive or suggestion to file a criminal case against the petitioners for the remarks he made on a public platform. For Ansari, attorney Upendra Upadhyay made an appearance.

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