SC reserves order on UP govt's plea seeking transfer of Mukhtar Ansari from Punjab jail

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on the petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its direction to transfer the alleged gangster and don-turned controversial politician Mukhtar Ansari from Ropar jail in Punjab to a jail in Uttar Pradesh.

A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and also comprising Justice R Subhash Reddy, was hearing the petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government.

“We reserve the order,” in the case, the bench said, after hearing detailed arguments and submissions from all the respective parties, petitioner and respondents in the case.

Dushyant Dave, senior lawyer and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) appearing for the Punjab government, said that there is sufficient medical evidence to show that the decisions taken by the jail authority are based on judicial authorities orders and is based on cogent evidence.

“We are nothing for (to protect) Ansari. He is just a criminal like any other. There are no allegations of conspiracy in the case,” Dave said.

“It is the Uttar Pradesh government that gave a telephone to a serious criminal, who is lodged in jail, we have nothing to do with this,” Dave said.

“This matter is of serious significance and nature, that it may open up Pandora’s box later,” Dave said.

He said that article 32 is not maintainable in this case, and he pleaded to the Apex Court to dismiss the petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government which is seeking its direction to transfer the alleged UP gangster and don-turned politician, Mukhtar Ansari from Ropar Jail in Punjab to a jail in Uttar Pradesh.

Dave further told the Apex Court that the Punjab government has mentioned in its affidavit and stated that the report on the health condition of the accused, Ansari has been prepared by a team of specialist doctors of the hospital PGI, Chandigarh, under the central government.

Mukul Rohatgi, senior lawyer and former Attorney General (AG) appearing for Ansari, submitted to the Apex Court that the accused is appearing in all courts and even, in some cases, he had been acquitted.

“I am a 5 times MLA,” Rohatgi said.

“There is animosity by the state against my family. My house was destroyed and my son was arrested,” Rohatgi stated.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, senior lawyer appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said that the state assumes the position of the accused.

“An accused cannot be given the right to jettison the case, on the names of a fair trial,” Mehta said.

“This present case warrants that the accused shall be shifted to another state for a fair trial,” Mehta said.

“The respondent (Ansari) had flouted the law when in jail and outside the jail,” Mehta said.

“He is facing more than 50 FIRs. Look at his apprehensions. I am answerable and I have a responsibility in the society,” Mehta said.

Dave, however, intervened, and said that the accused can face the trials through video conferencing, physical hearing is not required.