Lucknow: A special court in Pilibhit Saturday sentenced Uttar Pradesh Minister Sanjay Singh Gangwar to three months of jail in two separate cases of election code violations that date back to the 2012 assembly elections.
Gangwar, a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Pilibhit who was then in the Bahujan Samaj Party, has also been fined Rs 2,000 for each case, orders issued by a special MP/MLA court on Saturday and accessed by ThePrint showed.
This makes him the second minister of the Yogi 2.0 government to be convicted.
Gangwar was facing charges for offences under Section 127-A of the Representation of People’s Act — a provision that bans printing or publishing any election pamphlet without the names and addresses of the printer or the publisher.
However, the court also granted the minister interim bail for 30 days under Section 389 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows bail to be granted to a person convicted with imprisonment of up to three years to allow them to appeal the order.
The conviction pertains to two cases — one lodged on 4 January 2012 and the second on 6 January 2012.
In the first case, campaign material bearing the slogans “Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) zindabad” was found on a wall at Pilibhit’s Madhotanda Road. In addition, posters calling on voters to vote for Gangwar were found on the walls of five houses.
According to the court’s order, the prosecution argued that the posters didn’t bear the printer’s and the publisher’s names.
In the second case, Pilibhit Police found election materials in a vehicle bearing the BSP flag.
“One hundred and fifty-six stickers (and) 152 posters without the names of any printer or publisher or the number of the printed material were recovered from the seat,” the court order said.
“Perusal of the court record shows that the model code of conduct has been violated. Hence, keeping in view the facts and situations, the accused is sentenced to the following punishment,” reads the court order mentioning the three-month imprisonment and Rs. 2000 fine,” the order says.
ThePrint tried to reach Gangwar via calls and text messages. This report will be updated if and when a response is received.
BJP leaders convicted this year
Gangwar isn’t the only BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh to be convicted in the last few months.
In August, after he was found guilty in a 1991 Arms Act case by a Kanpur court, controversial UP Minister Rakesh Sachan took the court order and fled. He eventually surrendered before a court and was granted bail.
The cases against him pertained to a time when he was with the Samajwadi Party.
In October, Vikram Saini, a BJP leader and former legislator from Khatauli, was convicted for his involvement in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. The convection necessitated a by-election,
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)