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UP elections: ‘Setback’ for Mukhtar Ansari

Currently lodged in jail, Mukhtar Ansari, a sitting MLA from Mau Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, had sought permission to get out of jail to campaign. However, Justice Mukta Gupta allowed the Election Commission’s plea seeking cancellation of Ansari’s parole, a setback to the leader, who recently had joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“The petition (poll panel plea) is allowed,” the court said.

“A right to contest the election cannot imply that the candidate gets a right to be released from jail for canvassing as a candidate for being elected. If the candidate is in custody for an alleged offence, it would be the discretion of the court to release him or not, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case,” Justice Mukta Gupta observed.

Earlier, he was given custody parole till March 4. However, the high court on February 17 had stayed its operation after the poll panel moved a plea seeking cancellation of his parole on the ground that he may influence witnesses in the 2005 murder case of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, in which he is facing trial, reported PTI.

Senior advocates Salman Khurshid and Sudhir Nandrajog, appeared for the leader.

“Participation of candidates in free and fair election is also a basic structure of the Constitution,” the counsel had submitted.

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