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Home > News > India News > Article > SC notice to UP govt on plea of disqualified MLA Abdullah Azam Khan in criminal case

SC notice to UP govt on plea of disqualified MLA Abdullah Azam Khan in criminal case

Updated on: 01 May,2023 04:31 PM IST  |  New Delhi

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi issued notice to the UP government and sought its reply

SC notice to UP govt on plea of disqualified MLA Abdullah Azam Khan in criminal case

Supreme Court of India. File Pic

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the stand of the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan, son of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, against the Allahabad High Court decision refusing to stay his conviction in a 15-year-old criminal case that led to his disqualification as an MLA.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi issued notice to the UP government and sought its reply.

The top court also clarified that the election to Suar assembly constituency, which fell vacant after Khan's disqualification, scheduled for May 10, shall be subject to the outcome of his petition.

"Let the counter be filed. Let the election to be held on May 10 be subject to the outcome of this special leave petition," the bench said while posting the matter for hearing in second week of July.

During the hearing, the bench asked Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the UP government, "Can we test the morality of an individual, convicted and sentenced? Can he not be an elected representative? If you are able to justify... if it makes him unfit to be a public representative. You have to demonstrate prima facie that he has done a crime in his own capacity."

Also Read: Uttar Pradesh: SP leader, five others booked for trying to disrobe woman

The ASG said he will file his response to the appeal.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Khan, claimed his client was a juvenile when the incident took place.

The apex court clarified it was not examining Khan's juvenility and looking at his prayer seeking stay on conviction.

Khan had approached the apex court against the April 13 order of the Allahabad high court which had refused to stay his conviction.

In February, Abdullah Azam Khan was awarded two years' imprisonment in the case by a Moradabad court which led to his disqualification as MLA.

Rejecting his application, the high court had observed, "In fact, the applicant is trying to seek stay of his conviction on absolutely non-existent grounds. It is a well settled principle of law that stay of conviction is not a rule but an exception to be resorted to in rare cases."

"Disqualification is not limited only to MPs/MLAs. Moreover, as many as 46 criminal cases are pending against the applicant. It is now the need of the hour to have purity in politics. Representatives of people should be men of clear antecedents," the court had observed.

A criminal case was registered in 2008 against Abdullah Azam Khan and his father Azam Khan at Chhajlet police station in Moradabad under sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

It was alleged they had blocked traffic after their vehicle was stopped by the police for checking.

The additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) sentenced the father-son duo to two years' imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 each on February 13, 2023.

They were later enlarged on bail.

Two days after the conviction and sentence, Abdullah Azam Khan, an SP MLA, was disqualified from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

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