In a plea filed by the Uttar Pradesh government, the Allahabad High Court recently set aside the order of a Ghazipur Court granting ‘superior class’ to Mukhtar Ansari — former MLA from Mau constituency — in Banda’s district jail.
While passing the order, the single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh observed that Ansari is a known gangster, a dreaded criminal and ‘bahubali’ who has a criminal history of 58 cases.
The plea was moved by the state government assailing the order of the Special Judge, MP/MLA Court, Ghazipur, in a 2009 case registered under Sections 307, 506 and 120-B IPC.
The Special Judge had allowed the ‘superior class’ to Ansari in prison considering the provision of Section 287 of the Uttar Pradesh Jail Manual.
Under the Uttar Pradesh Jail Manual, criminal prisoners are categorised in two classes; (1) Superior; and (2) Ordinary. The manual also provides that the high court may recommend to the state government and a court of session to the district magistrate for a criminal prisoner’s admission to superior class.
The counsel for the state argued that in the present case, the trial court went beyond its jurisdiction as it has only ‘recommendatory power’ for grant of superior class to a prisoner and the final authority to grant or refuse the superior class is vested in the state government.
He also asserted that as per the jail manual, while considering the recommendation for providing superior class to a criminal prisoner, the state government has to take into consideration the facts which include the prisoner’s education, character, criminal antecedents and the nature of offence committed.
The state counsel contended that in Ansari’s case, he is not entitled to be categorised as ‘superior class’ in view of his long criminal history of heinous offences.
Considering the aforesaid facts and the legal position, the single judge bench opined that the order of the trial court was indeed not only without jurisdiction but also unsustainable on merits. Accordingly, the court set it aside.
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