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Will recover Rs 55L spent on Mukhtar Ansari: Bhagwant Mann

Will recover Rs 55L spent on Mukhtar Ansari: Bhagwant Mann

Says Congress’ ex-ministers ‘facilitated’ UP don’s stay in Ropar jail

Refusing to clear a file with a bill of Rs 55 lakh incurred on “facilitating” the stay of dreaded Uttar Pradesh gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari in Ropar jail, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said his government was considering recovering the amount from the ministers concerned in the previous Congress regime.

Ansari was lodged in the jail from January 2019 to April 2021 and the amount is said to have been spent on lawyers who handled his case. “The benevolence of the previous rulers towards this criminal can be gauged from the fact that though 48 warrants were issued, the government didn’t bother to produce him in UP courts,” said Mann.

Congress leader and former Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa was the Jails Minister when Ansari was shifted to the Ropar jail. The Uttar Pradesh Police got the custody of Ansari, who was facing several cases there, after approaching the Supreme Court. He was then transferred to Banda prison (UP).

Without naming Ansari, Mann tweeted: “A UP criminal was kept in Ropar jail with facilities… (he was) not produced despite issuance of warrants 48 times… expensive lawyers were engaged at a cost of Rs 55 lakh. I have returned the file of expenditure. Thinking of recovering this expenditure from the then ministers on whose orders this decision was taken… all done to ensure cosy stay for a dreaded criminal.”

Former Punjab Jails Minister Harjot Bains had marked an inquiry into the allegations regarding Ansari’s “comfortable stay” in the jail following a verbal spat with the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha in June 2022.

Ansari was brought to Punjab in 2019 on a transit remand based on a complaint against him for allegedly seeking Rs 10 crore ransom from a builder. A police inquiry recently revealed that he allegedly got VVIP treatment in the jail during the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress regime.

RN Dhoke, ADGP, in his report, had recommended action under the Prevention of Corruption Act against jail officials for facilitating “VVIP stay” for Ansari. The report, however, did not mention the name of any politician, it has been learnt.

paid lawyers to ‘delay’ transfer to up jail

Punjab CM says 48 warrants were issued, but the previous Cong regime didn’t produce Mukhtar Ansari in UP courts. The amount was spent on legal aid.

©The Tribune

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