Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi Sentenced to Six Months’ Jail Term for 2012 Election Code Violation

BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi

In a significant development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi has been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 1,100 for breaching the code of conduct during the 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The verdict was delivered by the special additional chief judicial magistrate of MP-MLA Court, Ambrish Kumar Srivastava, on Friday.

Joshi, the current BJP MP from Prayagraj, was found guilty of conducting a meeting in violation of the electoral code on behalf of the Congress party. The prosecution presented evidence before the court, alleging that Joshi, then a Congress candidate for the Lucknow legislative assembly Cantt segment, held a campaign event in the Bajrang Nagar area of Krishna Nagar after the designated campaign hours on 17 February 2012.

According to the prosecution, Joshi addressed a public gathering despite the stipulated campaign period being over. The violation came to light when static surveillance magistrate Mukesh Chaturvedi intervened and witnessed Joshi addressing a crowd of approximately 50 people in Bajrang Nagar. Chaturvedi promptly recorded the incident on camera and filed a report at the Krishna Nagar police station.

Subsequently, following a police investigation, a charge sheet was filed against Joshi on 12 September 2012. The court framed charges against her under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code on 20 February 2021. After the sentencing, Joshi was taken into custody. However, she was later granted interim bail upon furnishing a bond of Rs 20,000 and surety.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had shifted allegiance from the Congress to the BJP ahead of the 2017 assembly elections, has been an influential political figure in Uttar Pradesh. Her conviction marks a significant episode in the state’s political landscape, highlighting the accountability of elected representatives regarding electoral conduct.

The verdict has sparked discussions across political circles, with reactions pouring in from various quarters. Joshi’s sentencing is anticipated to reverberate through the political corridors of Uttar Pradesh, potentially impacting the dynamics of the forthcoming elections and underscoring the imperative of adhering to electoral norms and regulations.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the ramifications of Joshi’s conviction are expected to be closely monitored, shaping the narrative leading up to the electoral arena in Uttar Pradesh and beyond.

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