Barabanki/Chandigarh, Apr 2 (PTI) A case has been registered in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki after the documents of an ambulance bearing state registration number, used to ferry gangster-turned politician Mukhtar Ansari to a Mohali court, were found to be fake, UP police said on Friday.
Amid a row over this issue, a Punjab police official clarified that an inmate can be transported in a private ambulance on medical grounds and the cost of conveyance has to be borne by the prisoner.
The BSP MLA from Mau, who is wanted in Uttar Pradesh for various cases, was on March 31 produced before the Mohali court in connection with an alleged 2019 extortion matter.
Amid tight security arrangements, Ansari was taken to court in a wheelchair. He was sent back to Punjab's Rupnagar jail, where he is lodged since January 2019, in an ambulance after the appearance.
'After an initial probe, the name and address given for the registration of the ambulance were found to be false. An FIR in this regard has been registered by an additional road transport officer against Dr Alka Rai, whose name was given for the registration of the ambulance,' a senior police official said in Barabanki.
An FIR was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 420 (forgery), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using documents as genuine), 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating).
Superintendent of Police, Yamuna Prasad said acting on media reports that Ansari was produced in a court in Punjab on an ambulance with the registration number of Barabanki, police teams probed the matter and found that documents such as PAN, electoral photo id card and others were fake.
The address on which these documents were made was also found to be wrong, he said.
However, the Punjab police official said if an inmate has any medical condition, then he can be taken in a private ambulance subject to due diligence by the security in-charge. The cost of conveyance has to be borne by the prisoner, he said.
According to the Punjab Prisoners (Attendance in Court) Rules, 1969, the police team can allow a private vehicle on the request of a prisoner, the official added. It was also clarified that ambulance in which Ansari was taken to the court on March 31, was not a bullet-proof vehicle.
The Supreme Court had recently directed the Punjab government to hand over the custody of Ansari to the Uttar Pradesh Police, saying it was being denied on trivial grounds under the guise of medical issues.
The apex court had also said that a convict or an undertrial prisoner, who disobeys the law of the land, cannot oppose his transfer from one prison to another and the courts are not to be a helpless bystander when the rule of law is being challenged with impunity.
The court had said the custody of Ansari, a BSP MLA from the Mau constituency, be handed over to Uttar Pradesh within two weeks so as to lodge him in Banda district jail in Uttar Pradesh.
The apex court had also noted that Ansari was allegedly involved in various cases of attempt to murder, murder, cheating and conspiracy apart from offences under the Gangsters Act, lodged in Uttar Pradesh and out of them, 10 cases are at the stages of trial.
Mukhtar Ansari's wife has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing fears that he might be killed in a fake encounter while being transferred from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh following a Supreme Court direction.
His brother, BSP MP from Ghazipur, Afzal Ansari told PTI, 'To divert attention from the life threat to Mukhtar, BJP government is making wheelchair and ambulance as an issue.' 'If the BJP is making Mukhtar Ansari (2022) election agenda, we and our supporters will also make vindictive action of the government against their family an issue,' he said.
Asserting that Mukhtar Ansari has been ill for the past two years, his brother said that if there is any shortcoming in the documents of the ambulance, a fine could be imposed.
Meanwhile, a Mohali court has rejected a plea of Mukhtar Ansari who sought directions to jail authorities to constitute a medical board for examining him.
The court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (JMIC) Amit Bakshi said the Supreme Court has already considered Ansari's plea regarding his medical condition.
'There is nothing on record which cab suggest that after the apex court order on March 26 there have been any fresh medical issues with the accused,' the Mohali court judge said. PTI CORR ABN CHS VSD NSD NSD NSD