Allahabad HC suspends Raj Babbar’s conviction, paves way for his Lok Sabha contest

Court directs UP govt to respond within three weeks

Raj Babbar Raj Babbar

The Allahabad High Court has suspended Congress leader Raj Babbar's conviction in a 1996 case accusing him of assaulting a poll officer. This order paves the way for Babbar to file a nomination for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. 

In July 2022, a Magistrate Court had convicted Babbar in the 1996 incident, and currently, an appeal against the same is pending. The court based its judgement on two crucial aspects. The first being that the two witnesses (the persons who had sustained injuries), had in their statements said they had not been assaulted by Babbar, but, he in fact rescued them. The witnesses had named one of Babbar’s co-accused along with five or six others of entering the polling station and assaulting them. Babbar had reached the polling station subsequently, in another car and tried to persuade the assailants “not to do anything with the government servants…was making efforts to subside the matter and it is on his intervention the matter was subsided”. 

On the legal aspect, the court observed that charges were never formed under Section 149 IPC wherein it has to be established with evidence that people shared a common objective and were part of unlawful assembly, and secondly, that they were aware of the offences likely to be committed to achieve the said common objective.

Thus, without establishing the basics, the court convicted Babbar under Sections 323 and 353 (assaulting a public officer on duty and preventing said officer from performing duty) and 322 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt). The court also said that it would refrain from discussing anything further “so far, as the factual matrix of the case is concerned, as the same may tilt the balance of appeal in favour of either party”. The UP government has three weeks to respond to the court’s judgment.

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