A special investigation team (SIT) has been set up by the Uttar Pradesh Police to further probe into the issue of fake documents of the ambulance which was used to ferry gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari from a Punjab jail to a Mohali court recently. Barabanki Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad on Sunday said the SIT has been constituted under the additional superintendent of police (north).
“Some members of the SIT, under the SHO of Haidargarh, have been sent to Punjab. Others have been sent to Mau (in Uttar Pradesh). They will deliberate on various points and will also speak to Dr Alka Rai, whose name was given for the registration of the ambulance. “The SIT will also try to look for the ambulance and its driver. Efforts will also be made to ascertain as to under whose orders the ambulance ferried Ansari from the jail,” the superintendent of police said.
Amid a row over this issue, a Punjab police official has 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. On April 2, a case was registered in Barabanki after the documents of the ambulance bearing UP registration number were found to be fake.
Ansari, 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).
SP Yamuna Prasad had said that 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 had said that 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 had 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 helpless bystanders 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.