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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

UP govt to SC: Mukhtar Ansari running illegal activities from Punjab jail

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari is running his illegal activities from Rupnagar district jail in Punjab where he is lodged currently.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench comprising Ashok Bhushan and R.S. Reddy that Ansari is “dodging” the judicial system. These allegations were denied by the Punjab government.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the Punjab government, argued that state government has nothing to do with Ansari while he is in custody, instead he was behind bards due to judicial process, and questioned the maintainability of the UP government’s plea.

The UP government has moved the top court seeking a direction to the Punjab government and Rupnagar jail authority to immediately hand over the custody of Ansari, an MLA from Mau constituency, to district jail Banda.

Mehta submitted before the top court several cases are pending against Ansari in UP, and the Punjab jail authorities are denying handing him over to face trial in these matters.

“He (Ansari) is dodging the judicial system,” said Mehta.

Mehta contended that the entire matter looks like a film script, where several cases were pending against Ansari in Uttar Pradesh and suddenly, the Punjab Police lodged an FIR in 2019.

He added that Ansari has not been produced before UP court despite several orders.

“I am showing the collusion between them. He is operating and running his illegal activities from jail in Punjab”, said Mehta.

Dave reiterated Punjab government has no special affection for Ansari and cited the case of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan in the matter.

Dave said, “Can Kerala tomorrow move the Supreme Court and say that he (Kappan) is from Kerala, so he be transferred to Kerala from Uttar Pradesh?”.

During the hearing, Ansari’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi cited threat to the life of his client, as one of the co-accused was “eliminated in encounter” by the Uttar Pradesh Police.

Rohatgi insisted to transfer all cases against him from UP to Delhi. The top court said it will look into this request. The court is likely to continue hearing the matter tomorrow.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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