Accepting the State of Uttar Pradesh's objection to the relief sought in the Writ Petition filed by gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari's son, seeking the transfer of his father from Banda Jail, Uttar Pradesh, to a facility located outside the state and governed by a political party other than the BJP, the Supreme Court, today directed the Petitioner to amend the prayers and adjourned the proceedings until Friday.

The Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Sandeep Mehta was dealing with a Writ Petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution by Umar Ansari expressing concerns about an 'imminent and serious threat' to his father, Mukhtar Ansari, who is presently held in Banda Jail in Uttar Pradesh.

It was submitted in the Writ Petition that the State of U.P. has consistently been taking a personally inimical position against the Petitioner’s family, particularly his father, but now the Petitioner’s father has received reliable information that his life is in grave danger and there is a conspiracy afoot involving several actors within the state establishment to assassinate him in Banda jail.

Appearing for the Petitioner, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal along with Advocate-on-Record Lzafeer Ahmad B. F. apprised the Court of the background of the case and submitted, "One Krishnanand Rai, who happens to belong to one particular political party, was allegedly murdered and there were 8 accused who were named. Now out of the 8 accused, 4 of them have been gunned down. Only 3 accused are left now, the Petitioner, his brother and his brother-in-law."

Referring to the killings of the co-accused, Sibal stated, "Sanjeev Maheshwari @ Jeeva was shot dead inside a courtroom in Lucknow on 08.06.2023 while he was being produced before the court. Rakesh Pandey was gunned down by Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force in August 2020. Prem Prakash Singh @ Munna Bajrangi was murdered on 09.07.2018 while in judicial custody. Firdaus @ Javed was gunned down by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force in April, 2006."

Sibal further stated, "The accused was originally in Pujab and was shifted to Banda, Uttar Pradesh. We came to this Court, and this Court said to go to the High Court and the High Court said to provide adequate security." Sibal also referred to the killing of Atique Ahmad who was shot dead along with his brother by assailants while being escorted by police officers for a routine medical checkup.

Justice Roy then remarked, "Mr Sibal, the order for security was already passed. But we know... I mean the situation. Nobody is protected. Our Prime Minister could not be protected, one security guard killed..."

"I want him to be transferred outside of Uttar Pradesh to any Jail. So that he is protected. See what is happening in Uttar Pradesh. I don't want any general relief, I just want to be moved out and your lordships may decide where to move me out", clarified Sibal.

On the other hand, Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj appearing for the State of U.P. objected to the relieifs sought in the Petition. ASG stated, "Before getting into all these aspects, kindly see the prayers/relief which is sought in Writ Petition. With this particular prayer, what message is being projected before the Court? This is very very serious. The matter cannot be entertained at the threshold itself with these kinds of prayers."

Agreeing, Justice Roy stated, "We have read the prayer. Mr Sibal, you verbally said that anywhere outside Uttar Pradesh. You should amend your prayers and then we will consider. Whenever it is amended, we will take it up."

"Have it on Friday", requested the Senior Advocate. The Court accordingly ordered, "Mr. Sibal prays for liberty to modify the prayer appropriately. Correction be carried out within the day. Matter be listed on Friday."

The Writ Petition stated that as per the information received by the Petitioner’s father and relayed by him to the Petitioner, the plan to murder the petitioner's father is to be executed prior to the 2024 General Elections for the purposes of drawing political mileage, and most likely in the month of December 2023 itself.

"Even after the passing of the order dated 03.05.2023 by the Allahabad High Court granting enhanced security to the Petitioner’s father, there was an incident on May 18, 2023 where certain unidentified and suspicious persons visited jail barracks of the Petitioner’s father. Similar incidents had occurred on April 1 and April 19, 2023 when certain unidentified and suspicious persons visited jail barracks of the Petitioner’s father", contends the petitoiner.

Cause Title: Umar Ansari Vs. The State Of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. [W.P.(Crl.) No. 000629 - / 2023]