Pleading for the safety of its officers, the country’s top investigating agency has requested for shifting out of Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh a murder trial involving don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that its officers were not “safe” in Ghazipur, where local MLA Mukhtar and his brother Afzal Ansari were being tried for the murder of Krishnanand Rai.
Since there was complete terror of the accused in the area, Rai’s relatives and witnesses had misgivings about a fair trial, the agency said.
Rai, a BJP MLA, was shot dead in the town on November 29, 2005.
The agency wants the case to be shifted to state capital Lucknow. A bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, hinted at transferring the case outside Uttar Pradesh.
Appearing for the agency, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Jain urged the bench to immediately move the case from Ghazipur, saying witnesses were under tremendous pressure to turn hostile.
When Jain said even the CBI officers were not “safe”, the bench said, “If this is the case, we will transfer the case outside the state itself.”
It, however, deferred the hearing and directed the CBI to implead all the accused in its special leave petition, seeking transfer of the case.