10 May 2022 1:43 PM GMT
Granting bail to Samajwadi Party Leader and UP MLA Azam Khan in an alleged case of grabbing Enemy Property and using it for the construction of the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, the Allahabad High Court today made some stern remarks against the former Cabinet Minister in the UP Government.Perusing the pleadings of the affidavits, submissions advanced and pleadings exchanged, the Bench...
Granting bail to Samajwadi Party Leader and UP MLA Azam Khan in an alleged case of grabbing Enemy Property and using it for the construction of the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University, the Allahabad High Court today made some stern remarks against the former Cabinet Minister in the UP Government.
Perusing the pleadings of the affidavits, submissions advanced and pleadings exchanged, the Bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi remarked that it was well established that Khan was out and out for anyhow grab the property which was earmarked as Enemy Property by exploiting his position as a Cabinet Minister.
Significantly, the Court ordered that the land in question be reverted to the Administrator, Evacuee Property, or the District Magistrate, Rampur, being its representative.
The matter in brief
It may be noted that the FIR in the instant case was filed against Azam and others alleging that during the Partition of the Country, one Imamuddin Qureshi went to Pakistan and his land was recorded as enemy property, but Khan, in collusion with others, grabbed the plot and on that very property Mohammed Ali Jauhar University was built by a trust headed by Khan.
Essentially, the dispute is centered around an ad-measuring area of 13.842 hectares of agricultural land at Village Singhan Khera, Pargana, and Tehsil Sadar, District Rampur. This piece of land was originally owned by Quereshi and after the partition, he moved to Pakistan.
Now as per Section -8 of "The Administration of Evacuee Property Act, 1950" the property left by Qureshi as declared as Evacuee Property and deemed to have been vested with the 'Custodian' of the State, as per legal implication.
However, allegedly, Khan and his aides got the property in question converted into a 'Waqf Property' by preparing a forged Waqf Deed, whose alleged settler was the late Imamuddin Qureshi.
This land was eventually encircled within the Maulana Jauhar University premises, without paying a single penny as its consideration or without any authority or title over the land in question.
A direct allegation had been made in the FIR that Khan misused his power as a Cabinet Minister and hushed up the landed property belonging to the Custodian, Evacuee Property, Mumbai, who migrated to Pakistan during the partition.
Court's strong remarks against Khan in Bail Order
The Court called it surprising that the then Cabinet Minister in UP Government (Khan) stooped down to take away the Enemy Property by applying all foul means and tricks and when the matter reached the High Court, he tried to delink and disassociate himself from the property in dispute.
Before the Court, a categorical submission was made by the Khan's counsel that Maulana Ali Jauhar Trust or the University has got no title even for the namesake over the property in dispute (13.842 hectares).
It was also admitted by him that the University as well as Trust without any title or authority, but by virtue of fact that the University has purchased the adjacent lands, unauthorizedly encircled its right over the property in dispute.
"Neither any authority nor the custodian of the enemy property has ever allotted any property in question in favor of University except in the year 2006, a lease was granted, though within a month of its issuance, withdrawn by the custodian/administrator. As mentioned above this is a novel way to trespass/usurp the land and use it for the purposes of University," the Court remarked in light of submissions made by Khan's counsel.
Further, the Court also noted that since to date, the ownership and the title over the property had not been judicially acknowledged by any competent court of law, therefore, it was not clear as to who and under what circumstances the property in question was encircled within the boundary of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.
The Court also opined that to thrive his dream project in the name of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, Khan traded in a smug manner and in disguise of raising University, he was trading and usurping technicalities to grab an evacuee property by oblique means.
"The applicant to grab the land unlawfully has ashramite himself under the umbrella of religion, wherein he pleads that 'the Waqf property is the property of Almighty'...The applicant, intoxicated on the throne of the power and position misused his authority in a most indecent manner, that's why it is said that - If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God?", the Court further remarked.
Going further, the Court also remarked that Khan, being a cabinet minister dreamt to establish a University of which he was a perpetual Chancellor like a personal fiefdom and for this, the Court added, he went to any extent adopting all legal, illegal, fair and foul means.
"Being a public figure, the applicant has a bundle of responsibility for his shoulder and he cannot afford to shut his eyes towards those means which he has adopted just to achieve his objective, which falls within the realm and ambit of an offence," the Court further said.
However, stressing that bail is a right of any accused and jail is an exception, therefore, on the humanitarian ground, the Court keeping in view the applicant's deteriorating health, old age, and the period undergone in jail granted him bail on certain conditions.
The background of the bail order
The bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi had reserved the orders in his bail plea on Thursday. The order granting bail to him comes 4 days after the Supreme Court expressed its displeasure at Allahabad High Court for keeping Khan's Bail Plea Pending for a considerable period.
The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to May 11 the application filed by Khan, seeking bail as the Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai noted that Allahabad High Court has already reserved its order in Khan's application for bail.
Importantly, on 4 December 2021, the High Court had reserved its decision on Khan's bail plea in connection with this matter, however, later on, the state government had submitted an application seeking permission to present some new facts through fresh affidavits and thus, order in his bail plea got delayed.
Apart from this particular case, he has secured bail in all other cases. However, recently he was booked on charges of submitting a forged building certificate to obtain recognition for the Rampur Public School of which he is the chairman.
As per the report of PTI, a warrant was issued against him by an MP-MLA court on May 6. Apparently, he needs to get bail in this matter as well in order to come out of Sitapur Jail, where he is lodged presently.
Case title - Mohammad Azam Khan v. State Of U.P.
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