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Supreme Court Grants Bail To Samajwadi Party Leaders Azam Khan & Mohammad Azam Khan In Forgery Case

Shruti Kakkar
10 Aug 2021 8:13 AM GMT
Supreme Court Grants Bail To Samajwadi Party Leaders Azam Khan & Mohammad Azam Khan In Forgery Case
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The Court said that they can be released on bail after the trial court records the statement of Azam Khan.

The Supreme Court today granted bail to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Khan in a forgery case and directed that they be released on bail after the trial court records the informant's statement which is to be done within four weeks. The bail was granted by the division bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna in an appeal against the...

The Supreme Court today granted bail to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Khan in a forgery case and directed that they be released on bail after the trial court records the informant's statement which is to be done within four weeks.

The bail was granted by the division bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna in an appeal against the order dated November 26, 2020 passed by Allahabad High Court of rejecting bail to the father-son duo on apprehension of witness tampering.

Allegations

Irrespective of being less than 25 years old at the time of election and not being qualified to be an MLA under Article 173(b) of the Constitution of India, Abdullah was elected from the Suar Assembly Constituency of Rampur. Against the father and the son the allegations were that as per the son's educational certificates, Abdullah was born on January 1, 1993 whereas according to his birth certificate his date of birth was September 30, 1991. Allegations that the birth certificate issued by Lucknow Nagar Nigam was meant to help Abdullah to participate in the 2017 elections & that the Adhaar card & PAN cards were also not issued before 2015 were also levied against the duo.

FIR was thereafter registered against the Azam Khan and his son Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan for offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B IPC & against the latter in Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC & Section 12(1A) Passport Act, 1967.

HC dismissed bail plea

The bail plea of the Lok Sabha MP from Rampur, Azam Khan & his son Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan was rejected by the Single Bench of Justice Suneet Kumar of Allahabad High Court on November 26, 2020 on the ground that it would not be in the public interest at this juncture.

The Court held that merely for the reason that the applicants have been enlarged on bail in a case where allegation is of procuring forged documents pertaining to date of birth, could not be viewed mechanically while considering the bail applications, in other cases, though, the genesis was rooted in forged date of birth.

"It cannot be said, in the given facts, that the instant case is a consequence of the alleged corrections of the subsequent document based on the date of birth. There is allegation of criminal conspiracy, deception, misuse of office and position in procuring forged documents by the first applicant to benefit the second applicant," it held.

The Court further took note of the State's submissions that the applicants had criminal antecedents— of 91 cases registered against Azam Khan since 1982, and 44 against his son, most of them pertaining to fraud and forgery.

The Court further observed that the Applicants were even accused of intimidation and hence, concluded there may be witness tampering. It observed,

"The Court while considering the bail applications is conscious that personal liberty has to be weighed and balanced with societal/public interest at large, and ensure that the course of justice is not thwarted by the powerful and influential accused persons."

It took on record the State's submissions that the Applicants did not cooperate with the investigation and court proceedings, consequently, coercive measures had to be adopted against them.

It held,

"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 reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, and danger to the course of justice being thwarted. In the circumstances, grant of bail at this stage would not be in public interest."

The Supreme Court Bench of Justice RF Nariman, Justice Hrishikesh Roy & Justice BR Gavai on May 6, 2021 had issued notice to Uttar Pradesh Government in bail plea.

Case Title: Mohammad Azam Khan v. The State Of Uttar Pradesh| Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s).2717/2021

Click Here To Read/ Download The Order



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