The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed jailed former MP and alleged gangster Atiq Ahmed's plea seeking protection during his custody with the Uttar Pradesh police in the Umesh Pal murder case.
A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi granted Ahmed liberty to approach the Allahabad high court for protection after he claimed his life is under threat while being in the custody of UP police.
It refused to record that the former Samajwadi Party MP's life is under threat despite vehement requests by Ahmad's counsel. Since he is in judicial custody, Uttar Pradesh state machinery will take care of his protection in case of threat to his life, the court said.
"It is not a case where this court is going to interfere. Liberty granted to move appropriate application before the High Court. Whatever is the process prescribed under law will be followed," the bench said.
Ahmed's counsel said there is serious threat to his life while in police custody in the Umesh Pal murder case.
"I am not shying away from any custody or police interrogation in the case but what I want is grant me protection as there is serious threat to my life," he said.
The bench, however, dismissed his plea.
The top court was hearing a plea of Ahmed seeking protection and claiming that he and his family have been falsely "roped in" as accused in the Umesh Pal murder case in Prayagraj.
Umesh Pal, a key witness in the 2005 killing of then BSP MLA Raju Pal, and his two security guards were killed in a shooting on February 24.