The Supreme Court will hear on Friday the plea of the wife of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari seeking directions to the Uttar Pradesh authorities to ensure that her husband’s life is protected in the state besides being accorded fair trial in cases against him.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy, as per the Supreme Court’s website, would hear on April 9 the plea of Afshan Ansari who has also expressed apprehension about possible attempts to eliminate her spouse in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday got Ansari’s custody from its Punjab counterpart as per the direction of the top court. He is accused of heinous crimes in several cases lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh.
The plea in Supreme Court has alleged that there is a genuine, persistent and grave threat to Mukhtar Ansari’s life in Uttar Pradesh and there are very high chances that he will be eliminated if adequate protection or safeguards towards his life are not directed by the Supreme Court.
The plea said several attempts have been made on his life in the past by rival political enemies belonging to the ruling government in the state.
It sought direction that transit of her husband from one jail to another as also to the court be video-graphed at all times and be carried out in presence of officers of central police force such as CRPF.
The top court had on March 26 directed Punjab government to hand over the custody of Ansari, who was lodged in Punjab’s Rupnagar jail there since January 2019 in connection with an alleged extortion case, to the Uttar Pradesh police.
The fresh plea has sought directions to the Uttar Pradesh authorities to provide adequate safeguards and protection to her husband while he is shifted to district jail Banda in Uttar Pradesh from Punjab.
She has also sought directions to the authorities to provide protection to Ansari, an MLA from Mau constituency, while he is lodged in Banda jail or any other jail as may be decided by the special judge (MP/MLA court) in Allahabad and also while he is produced before the courts in Uttar Pradesh.
The plea has sought directions to the authorities to ensure that life of Ansari is protected and his rights under Article 21 of the Constitution are safeguarded while attending trial in all cases against him in Uttar Pradesh.
The threat to the life of the petitioner’s husband (Ansari) is not merely an apprehension, but has also been substantiated in the past by several attempts made on his life by rival political enemies belonging to the ruling government in Uttar Pradesh, it claimed.
There is a hanging threat to the life of the petitioner’s husband and there are very high chances that he will be eliminated if adequate protection or safeguards towards his life are not directed by this court, it said.
The plea has also referred to the encounter of gangster Vikas Dubey in Uttar Pradesh last year.
Similar reports are being given in the press in relation to the petitioner’s husband herein, thus the petitioner prays that her husband’s life may be protected while he is directed to attend trial in the state of Uttar Pradesh so that he does not meet a similar fate, it said.
The plea has sought direction that while Ansari is shifted to district jail Banda from Punjab or transferred from Banda prison to other jail, it should be done under the supervision and presence of a designated judicial magistrate.
The top court had on March 26 directed the Punjab government to hand over Ansari’s custody to Uttar Pradesh Police, saying the custody was being denied on trivial grounds under guise of medical issues.
The top court had said a convict or an undertrial prisoner, who disobeys the law of the land, cannot oppose his transfer from one prison to another and the courts are not to be a helpless bystander when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity.
The Supreme Court had said it was open for the special court, constituted for MPs/MLAs at Allahabad, to continue him either in the District Jail at Banda or shift to any other prison in the state, if any need arises.
It had delivered the verdict on the plea of Uttar Pradesh government seeking a direction to the Punjab government and Rupnagar jail authority to immediately hand over the custody of Ansari, to the district jail Banda.