| Ansari (PTI)
New Delhi, Feb. 5: A city court today sentenced Independent Uttar Pradesh MLA Mukhtar Ansari to 10 years’ imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him for possessing arms and ammunition, under Tada.
Ansari, described as a “professional criminal” by the court, has also been handed three years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 under Section 25 of the Arms Act. If he fails to pay the fine, the MLA will have to undergo another year of imprisonment, special judge S.N. Dhingra said in his 57-page order.
The sentences will run concurrently, Dhingra said, adding that the time Ansari has spent in judicial custody since December 11, 1993 — just over two years — will be deducted from the sentence. Ansari is in Tihar jail.
“(The) Accused (Ansari) wields enormous muscle power, money power and political power. With this power, he has been able to trample the criminal justice system.…. Showing leniency to him would amount to grave injustice to the society,” Dhingra observed in his order.
“I consider that he should remain behind bars for the maximum period of time so that society is safe from ransom kidnappings, murders, revenge killings and witness killings…,” the special judge said.
Ansari had kidnapped Calcutta-based businessman V.P. Goel from Delhi on December 7, 1993 while he was returning from a party on Pandara Road.
Ansari was arrested on December 11 near the Bahai temple in south Delhi, where he had gone to collect ransom from Goel’s family.
Police had recovered arms, including rifles and ammunition, from Ansari’s car, apart from a Haryana police officer’s uniform.
Two cases were registered against Ansari — kidnapping Goel and possessing arms and ammunition under Section 5 of the now-defunct Tada. He was discharged in the kidnapping case but convicted for offences committed under Tada.
In its order, the court criticised the “casual manner” of senior Delhi police officers Maxwell Paraira, joint police commissioner (traffic), and M.B. Kaushal, who has retired from the post, while deposing before the court.
“I consider these two witnesses deposed in a very casual manner in the court.... They did not bother to look into the record and very casually stated that they could admit or deny the recovery of arms from Panchkulla,” Dhingra said.
Ansari had switched from the Samajwadi Party to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) before successfully contesting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections independently last time. The MLA lent support to Mayavati from jail when BSP-BJP coalition was facing a number crisis.