Mukhtar Ansari’s wife moves SC seeking protection during transfer to UP

New Delhi:  Afshan Ansari, the wife of gangster-turned-Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Mukhtar Ansari, has moved the Supreme Court seeking protection and safety of her husband while being shifted to Banda district jail in Uttar Pradesh from Roopnagar jail in Punjab, and also during his trial in pending cases in Uttar Pradesh.

Following the top court’s direction on March 26, Mukhtar Ansari on Tuesday was being moved from Punjab jail to a jail in Uttar Pradesh. He was lodged in a Punjab jail since January 2019 in an alleged extortion case.

Afshan Ansari in her plea sought a direction for government authorities to ensure that the life of her husband is protected and his rights under Article 21 of the Constitution are safeguarded while attending trial in all cases in Uttar Pradesh.

“Because the petitioner’s husband’ life is constantly in threat while attending trial physically in Uttar Pradesh and accordingly it is most imperative that while he is transferred from one jail to the other or produced before the court in Uttar Pradesh, the entire legal proceedings must be videographed and ought to be carried out in presence of central forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force/Border Security Force,” said the plea.

The petitioner claimed the threat to her husband’s life is not merely an apprehension, but has been substantiated in the past by several attempts made on his life by political enemies belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh.

Ansari’s wife contended that there are high chances that he might be killed if adequate protection or safeguards for his life are not directed by the top court.

Ansari’s wife cited many incidents when her husband was attacked, even though he has been in judicial custody since October 25, 2005. The petitioner submitted that some of the gangsters who have become highly influential despite being in jail could conspire to kill her husband.

On March 26, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed that Ansari should be handed over to Uttar Pradesh within two weeks, and then he should be lodged in Banda jail. The top court allowed the Uttar Pradesh government’s Article 32 petition seeking transfer of Ansari to an Uttar Pradesh jail from Punjab.

The UP government had said more than 30 FIRs and 14 criminal trials, including heinous crimes of murder and under the Gangster Act are pending against Mukhtar Ansari in various MP/MLA courts, where his personal appearance is sought.