Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Thursday attacked the previous Congress government in the state, accusing it of providing “facilities” to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari while he was lodged in Rupnagar jail.
Mann said he has refused to clear a file with a bill of Rs 55 lakh as fees of the “expensive lawyers” hired to defend Ansari in the case.
The chief minister also said that his government will consider recovering the amount from the ministers in the Congress government responsible for hiring the advocates.
Ansari remained in Rupnagar jail from January 2019 till April 2021 in an extortion case in Mohali.
Without naming Ansari, Mann on Thursday said in a tweet in Punjabi, ”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.” 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 in Uttar Pradesh.
The Supreme Court had 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.