Uttar Pradesh legislator Mukhtar Ansari on Monday opposed in the Delhi high Court the Election Commission’s plea seeking cancellation of his parole granted by a trial court for canvassing in the ongoing UP Assembly polls.
Ansari, an MLA who recently joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to contest from Mau Assembly seat in UP, was given custody parole till March 4, enabling him to campaign in the election.
The high court, however, 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.
Terming the EC’s claim as baseless, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Ansari, submitted that this is not the ground to restrict his movement in his constituency from where he is contesting, as none of the witnesses are from there.
Sibal said that the EC should not get involved in the “thicket of politics”.
“It (the EC) should remain an independent body. Only in extraordinary situation, the EC can come to court. Participation of candidates in free and fare election is also a basic structure of the Constitution,” he submitted.
The counsel contended that Ansari has been elected from the Mau constituency for a record four times and he is willing to give an undertaking to the court that he will not violate its order.
This was strongly opposed by the poll panel, which was represented by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, who said that the release of the accused has direct impact on conduct of free and fare election in the Mau constituency.
The court will now resume arguments on the EC’s plea on February 22. Till then Ansari will not be released. The trial court on February 16 had granted him custody parole.