BSP’s Afzal Ansari was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha on Monday after being convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment in a kidnapping-and-murder case by a court in Uttar Pradesh.
Ansari, the Lok Sabha member from Ghazipur, was sentenced by an MP/MLA court on Saturday, while his brother, criminal-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, was also convicted in the same case and sent to 10 years in jail.
The brothers were booked under the UP Gangsters Act in connection with the murder of the then BJP MLA from Ghazipur, Krishnanad Rai, on November 29, 2005 and the kidnapping-murder of Varanasi-based trader Nand Kishore Rungta in 1997.
“Consequent upon his conviction…Afzal Ansari, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Ghazipur Parliamentary Constituency of Uttar Pradesh, stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 29 April, 2023 in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” according to a Lok Sabha secretariat notification.
On March 24, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lost his Lok Sabha membership after his conviction and two-year jail term in a 2019 defamation case.
Ansari will not be able to contest elections as his disqualification period is 10 years.
Citing Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, sources said Ansari’s disqualification will be for 10 years – four years of the jail term awarded by the court and another six years from the date of his release, as prescribed in the law.
Ansari can get his disqualification revoked if a superior court stays his conviction and sentencing.
NCP Lok Sabha member from Lakshadweep Mohammed Faizal, who was convicted in an attempt to murder case by the Kavarathi sessions court on January 11 this year, was disqualified from the house two days later.
Faizal had moved the Kerala High Court which stayed his conviction and sentencing. The Lok Sabha Secretariat revoked his disqualification on March 29, when his petition in this regard was to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Technically, the Election Commission can hold a bypoll to the Ghazipur parliamentary seat as there is over one year left for the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha. The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 16, 2024.
At present, there are four vacancies in Lok Sabha – Wayanad, Ghazipur, Pune and Jalandhar.
Rahul Gandhi, who represented Wayanad in Kerala in Lok Sabha, was disqualified on March 24. The Pune and Jalandhar seats fell vacant following the death of sitting members Girish Bapat (BJP) and Santokh Singh Chaudhary (Congress) respectively.
The Election Commission has announced a byelection for Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat on May 10.