14 April 2023 7:13 AM GMT
"It is now the need of the hour to have purity in politics. Representatives of people should be man of clear antecedent," remarked Allahabad High Court on Thursday while dismissing a plea moved by Mohammed Abdullah Azam Khan seeking a stay on conviction in a 15-year-old case that led to his disqualification as an MLA. The bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta observed that Khan was trying to seek a...
"It is now the need of the hour to have purity in politics. Representatives of people should be man of clear antecedent," remarked Allahabad High Court on Thursday while dismissing a plea moved by Mohammed Abdullah Azam Khan seeking a stay on conviction in a 15-year-old case that led to his disqualification as an MLA.
The bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta observed that Khan was trying to seek a stay of his conviction on absolutely non-existent grounds even when it is a well-settled principle of law that a stay of conviction is not a rule but an exception to be resorted to in rare cases.
Noting that as many as 46 criminal cases are pending against him, the Court dismissed his plea filed under Section 389 (2) CrPC finding no reasonable ground to stay his conviction.
It may be recalled that Khan was disqualified from Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in February this year, days after he was convicted and sentenced by a Moradabad court to two years in prison in a 15-year-old case. Abdullah, who represented the Suar Assembly constituency, is the son of the veteran leader of the Samajwadi Party, Azam Khan
Earlier, his plea for a stay on his conviction was rejected by Additional Sessions Judge, Moradabad. Challenging the same, he moved to the High Court.
Before the HC, it was the primary submission of his counsel that on the date of the alleged incident (January 2, 2008), Khan was a minor, however, the trial court illegally proceeded with the entire trial treating him to be an adult, as such, his entire trial stands vitiated and, therefore, till the disposal of the appeal, the conviction recorded against him be stayed.
In this regard, the Apex Court's judgment in Khan's matter was referred to wherein the question of his minority had been dealt with and he has been held to be a 'minor'.
On the other hand, the AAG appearing for the State Government submitted in Court that during the course of the trial, Khan never claimed himself to be minor and accordingly, the trial court tried him along with other co-accused and recorded the entire evidence and after concluding the full-fledged trial, the applicant was found guilty for the offence, charged with, and was accordingly convicted.
It was also submitted that even, at the time of recording the sentence, he did not raise any plea that at the time of incident, he was a juvenile, however subsequently, after the recording of conviction and passing of the sentence by the trial court, he, for the first time, for seeking stay of his conviction, has come up with a case that he was a minor at the time of the incident.
In this regard, the AAG referred to Juvenile Justice Act to argue that the law lays down a specific procedure to be followed for the determination of a claim of juvenility, however, since Khan never raised such a claim, and thus, he was never held to be a juvenile and on the absence of which, Khan cannot be presumed to be a 'minor' on the date of the incident.
Finding force in the submissions of the AAG, the High Court, in its order, observed that during the course of the trial, Khan never claimed himself to be minor by moving an application for the same and as such, since he has not been held to be minor, therefore, the Court held, the trial against him rightly proceeded as an adult along with the other coaccused and he has rightly been convicted and sentenced.
Regarding his claim that he has been found to be minor by the Supreme Court in the election petition, the Court noted that the proceedings of the election petition filed under Section 100 of the Representation of People Act and the civil appeal arising therefrom are based on an entirely different issue dealing with disqualification and has no bearing on the instant criminal trial.
Against this backdrop, his plea was dismissed.
Case title - Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan vs. State of U.P [CRIMINAL MISC. APPLICATION U/S 389(2) No. - 2 of 2023]
Case Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 125
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