Mann alleges Rs 55 lakh spent on lawyers, UP gangster Ansari in Punjab jail

  • | Thursday | 20th April, 2023

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has returned the file to make payment worth Rs 55 lakh from state exchequer to ensure ‘cozy stay’ of a dreaded criminal from Uttar Pradesh Mukhtar Ansari in Ropar Jail. “UP’s gangster was kept in Ropar Jail by facilitating him with all possible needs. He was not presented in court even after having warrants issued against him 48 times. Expensive lawyers were hired with expenditure of ₹55 lakh, but I have returned the file regarding clearing this expense from the money collected through people’s taxes,” Mann said in a tweet. Terming it as “brazen loot of the public money” which cannot be tolerated, the CM – who also holds the charge of the jails department – said for reasons best known to the previous Congress regime, this notorious criminal – who was lodged in the Rupnagar Jail between January 2019 and April 2021 – was kept in Ropar Jail with full comforts. Mann said apart from ensuring comfortable stay the state government ensured that this hardcore criminal did not face any sort of difficulty within the jail and escaped the legal action against him. The CM said that the benevolence of the previous rulers towards this dangerous criminal can be judged from the fact that though 48 warrants were issued against him but the government didn’t bother to produce him. He said that surprisingly the then government spent Rs 55 lakh of taxpayers money to safeguard the interests of this criminal lodged in Ropar Jail. Mann said this atrocious loot of the public money is totally unwarranted and undesirable adding that he has returned the file regarding this matter to the department. The CM said this open plundering of the taxpayers money cannot be tolerated at any cost. He said that the government is also mulling to recover this money from the ministers in the previous government who have taken this sinister decision. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state government had early this year marked a probe into the allegations related to Ansari’s stay in Punjab.A probe led by additional director general of police (ADGP) Counter Intelligence RN Dhoke had a few days ago submitted a report to the CM, pointing out glaring lapses by the jail department in arranging stay.The inquiry report alleged Ansari had connections with some state and national Congress leaders. The report recommended proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act against some jail officials for allegedly taking bribes from Ansari in lieu of providing him special facilities. Sources said the file pertaining to senior advocate Dushyant Dave who represented the Punjab government in the Supreme Court in 2021 when the Uttar Pradesh government had sought Ansari’s transfer to UP is awaiting clearance from the government. Punjab had opposed the transfer. Ansari was in Ropar jail in connection with an extortion case from January 2019 to April 2021 during the tenure of the previous Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh. Congress leader Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was the minister of jails during the time.

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