Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has refused to pay a fee of Rs 55 lakh to a lawyer appointed to fight a legal battle in the Supreme Court for notorious gangster and politician Mukhtar Ansari.

The lawyer was appointed by the previous Congress government. At that time, it was decided to pay 11 lakh fees for per hearing in the court. An outstanding bill of Rs 55 lakh has been sent to the Punjab government for five appearances made by the lawyer.

CM Bhagwant Mann said, “A criminal from UP was kept in Ropar jail by giving VIP facilities. Despite being issued 48 warrants, he did not appear. Expensive lawyers were hired and Punjab government asked to bear their Rs 55 lakhs cost. I have turned back the file to not waste taxpayers money. The ministers on whose orders this decision was taken, it is being considered to recover the expenses from them.”

Gangster Mukhtar Ansari was lodged in Rupnagar jail in Punjab between January 2019 and April 2021. During this time, the Uttar Pradesh Police wanted to take him to a jail in UP, for which 25 reminders were also sent to the Punjab government on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Police, but Ansari was not handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Police by the Punjab Government. On this, the Uttar Pradesh Police reached the Supreme Court.

When the matter reached the Supreme Court, the then Congress government appointed a renowned lawyer at Rs 11 lakh per appearance to plead for Mukhtar Ansari’s stay in Punjab jail. After this, the lawyer appeared in the Supreme Court 5 times and fought a legal battle in favor of Ansari, although the Punjab government had to face defeat. The Uttar Pradesh Police was successful in presenting its strong side. In April 2021, Mukhtar Ansari was taken to Uttar Pradesh.

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