The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari be shifted to a Uttar Pradesh jail from Punjab. The court has granted two weeks time to shift Ansari from Rupnagar jail in Punjab to Banda jail in Uttar Pradesh.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and RS Reddy 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. Ansari is a sitting BSP MLA from Mau Vidhan Sabha seat.
The top court allowed the UP government Article 32 petition seeking transfer of Ansari to a UP jail from Punjab. Article 32 deals with the ''Right to Constitutional Remedies'', and gives the right to move the apex court for enforcement of the rights conferred in the Constitution.
On March 4, the top court was told by Punjab government that Yogi Adityanath-led government has got no fundamental right to seek Ansari's transfer from Rupnagar jail to a district jail in Banda in Uttar Pradesh. It said that only a citizen can move the top court under Article 32 to claim fundamental rights and a state cannot invoke this provision.
"The state by itself has not been given any right to move this court under Article 32 under any circumstances..therefore, the state of UP is not competent to file the present writ petition as it is neither citizen to whom the right is conferred and neither it has any fundamental rights which are exclusively conferred upon citizens", said the Punjab government, seeking dismissal of the UP's plea.
The Uttar Pradesh government had told the top court that Punjab government is "shamelessly" protecting Ansari as he is not being handed back to UP where he faces trial for several heinous offences before a special MP/MLA court.
The UP government said more than 30 FIRs and more than 14 criminal trials including heinous crimes of murder and under the Gangster Act are pending against Ansari in various MP/MLA courts, where his personal appearance is sought.
Ansari is lodged in district jail Rupnagar in Punjab in connection with an alleged extortion case since January 2019. He is also accused in several cases of heinous crimes lodged in Uttar Pradesh.