In a major setback to the Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court denied bail to him and his son. The case pertains to Azam Khan’s son, Abdullah Azam Khan, forging his passport and PAN to show that he was born in 1990, to enable him to contest the UP Assembly elections from the Suar constituency in Rampur in 2017. Justice Suneet Kumar, who rejected the bail plea on Thursday, asked the trial court to expedite the trial.
Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and wife Tanzeen Fatima are lodged in Sitapur jail since February this year.
Allahabad High Court rejects bail pleas of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam in a forgery case— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 26, 2020
The Allahabad High Court bench observed that the accused enjoy ‘deep-rooted and pervasive influence’ and thus, if given bail, it is entirely possible that they would attempt to influence witnesses.
Fearing that on being outside on bail, they may try to influence witnesses in the case, Justice Suneet Kumar observed while rejecting bail: “The forged date of birth was procured during the tenure of the first applicant being Cabinet Minister; Municipal Corporation was under his ministry. The allegations reflect deep-rooted criminal conspiracy; gross misuse of position, the exercise of coercion and threat in the commission of the offence and perpetuating it”.
While passing the order, the Allahabad High Court also took on record the State’s submissions as regards the criminal antecedents of the Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and his son. Azam Khan has 91 cases against him starting from 1982, his wife Dr Tazeen was stated to have 32 cases and their son was found to have 44 cases lodged against him. Moreover, the Court took note that Azam Khan was alleged to have intimidated and threatened landholders while trying to usurp government land.
As per the Bar and Bench report, Given the State’s submissions that the two bail applicants had not cooperated with the probe until coercive measures were adopted, the Court proceeded to reject the bail pleas. The court order read: “Having regard to the allegations that the applicants did not cooperate with the investigation and court proceedings, consequently, coercive measures had to be adopted against them. Further, having regard to the position and status of the accused persons, the repetition of the offences, and the deep-rooted and pervasive influence, applicants exercise in the various departments of the State, there is a reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, and danger to the course of justice being thwarted. In the circumstances, the grant of bail at this stage would not be in the public interest.”
2017 forgery case against Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan
It may be recalled that FIRs were lodged against the Azam Khan and Abdullah Azam in 2019 alleging that on January 24, 2017, Abdullah had filed nomination papers for contesting from Suar Assembly constituency. In the nomination papers, Abdullah Azam’s date of birth was wrongly mentioned as September 30, 1990, to make him eligible for contesting elections, and in support of it, a forged PAN card was also obtained with the help of Azam Khan. His son Abdullah Azam was booked for forgery in birth date documents. Suar MLA Abdullah Azam Khan had to lose his membership of the state assembly after he was found guilty of forgery.
MP Azam Khan made several attempts earlier to get anticipatory bail but was denied by the court. The MP and his family have several non-bailable warrants issued against them.
Rampur MP and family have dozens of cases against them
Apart from this particular forgery case, several cases are lodged against Rampur MP Azam Khan. In September last year, Rampur Police in Uttar Pradesh had booked Azam Khan on allegations of ‘stealing goats’ following the complaint which was filed in October 2016.
Azam Khan is also accused of stealing valuable books and manuscripts from old Mosques and Islamic institutions. He has also been booked for ‘stealing buffaloes’ and later the Rampur MP was also booked for electricity theft. The power supply to Azam Khan’s resort ‘Humsafar’ in Uttar Pradesh was cut after raids were conducted in the resort by the Uttar Pradesh electricity department.
Khan had landed in a major land grabbing case after irregularities and allegations against his family’s Mohammad Ali Jauhar University surfaced last year. The University was raided by Rampur police following a complaint by the principal of Madrasa Aliya, wherein he stated that 9000 books and rare manuscripts from the Madrasa have been stolen.