Written by: Muskan Rathore (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
The Supreme Court ordered the transfer of Bahujan Samaj Party (BHP) member, Mukhtar Ansari, from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh for the number of trials pending against him in the latter state. It was noted that the state of Punjab had refused to transfer him on more than 25 occasions on the grounds of his health. There are almost 50 cases registered against him, 15 of them are in the trial stage. He was lodged in the Rapnagar Jail in case of extortion since January 2019.
For this, the Uttar Pradesh government was forced to approach the Supreme Court after several vain attempts to get Ansari back to the state. The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R. Subhash Reddy allowed the plea after satisfying themselves that the transfer was refused on trivial medical grounds and therefore directed Ansari’s custody to be handed over within two weeks, following which he has to be shifted to the Banda Jail.
The bench further noted that courts cannot be a bystander when the rule of law is being challenged and that a convict cannot oppose the law of the land by opposing his transfer to another prison, and therefore can exercise their power given under Article 142 of the Constitution for the same. The bench also asked the Jail Superintendent of Banda Jail to extend any facilities that may be needed to Ansari, general or special, both according to the rules laid down under the Jail Manual.
There are multiple cases pending against Mukhtar Ansari in the special court constituted for the trial of MPs and MLAs, it is also to be noted that all pending cases are of serious offences committed under the Indian Penal Code, including Murder, Cheating, Conspiracy, attempt to murder as well as other offences punishable under the Gangsters’ Act. Due to the reason of warrants issued against him, difficulty of holding a trial through video conferencing etc, the government of Uttar Pradesh asked the Punjab Jail authorities to transfer custody to the former, but it was dismissed on minor medical grounds.
On 6th April, the Uttar Pradesh Police took custody of Ansari from the Punjab’s Rupnagar Jail after the Supreme Court order to transfer him to Banda District Jail. Heavy security arrangements were taken by the Punjab Jail authorities outside the Rupnagar Jail, there were barricades put on the roads. The Uttar Pradesh personnel reached the mentioned jail at noon along with police vehicles, ambulance and a Vajra, whereafter the custody was transferred to them. He was carried in the ambulance surrounding gun carrying security personnel throughout his journey of around 900 Kms.
Recently, Ansari’s Wife has approached the apex Court seeking for directions to be given to the jail authorities as well as the police of Uttar Pradesh to make sure that Ansari gets a “free and fair trial” in the proceedings going on against him and so that he does not finish off as being killed in a fake encounter.