New Delhi: In a big victory for the Uttar Pradesh government, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed transfer of gangster-turned-MLA Mukhtar Ansari from a Punjab jail to Banda jail in UP.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed that Ansari be handed over to UP within two weeks, and then lodged in Banda jail. 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.
The Uttar Pradesh government and the Punjab government had locked horns over whether a state government can file a petition under Article 32 to claim fundamental rights.
The UP government, under Article 32, had moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Punjab government and Rupnagar jail authority to immediately hand over gangster-turned-politician Ansari’s custody to district jail Banda. Ansari is lodged in district jail Rupnagar since January 2019.
The Punjab government had contested these claims of the UP government saying 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 gangster-turned-politician Ansari as he is not being handed back to UP where he faces trial for several heinous offences before a special MP/MLA court. Ansari has been lodged in district jail Rupnagar in Punjab in connection with an alleged extortion case.
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.