15 Jul 2023

Azam Khan Convicted In 2019 Hate Speech Case, Gets 2 Years In Jail

Lucknow: A Rampur court on Saturday convicted Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan in a hate speech case and sentenced him to two years imprisonment. Case against Khan was registered during campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections 

The case against Azam Khan was registered for derogatory remarks against the then Rampur district magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in 2019. At that time Khan was contesting the poll as the candidate of the short-lived alliance between the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The complaint was filed by Rampur district’s assistant development officer (Panchayat) Anil Kumar Chauhan at Shahjad Nagar police station after a video clip of Azam Khan’s speech went viral.

Khan was convicted in another case in 2022 

Azam Khan was convicted in another case of hate speech in 2019 and sentenced to three years in jail by an MP-MLA magistrate court on October 17, 2022, which led to his disqualification from the Uttar Pradesh assembly two days later. 

Was acquitted by sessions court 

A sessions court designated to try parliamentarians and legislators in Rampur in May this year overturned the conviction and acquitted Azam Khan in the case. 

The acquittal did not help Azam Khan since he and his son Abdullah Azam Khan were also convicted and sentenced to two years in jail on February 14 by a Moradabad court in connection with a 2008 case for assaulting public servants in the district’s Chhajlet area.

The 2008 incident took place soon after Azam Khan’s vehicle was stopped by the police for routine checking.

Khan was a cabinet minister in the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav from 2012-2017.

Khan’s close aide was defeated in by-poll

After Khan’s disqualification from the assembly, a by-poll was held in the Rampur Sadar seat. BJP’s Akash Saxena, the complainant in the alleged hate speech case, defeated Khan’s close aide and SP candidate Asim Raja.

Khan was released from Sitapur district jail in May 2022 after remaining behind bars for 27 months after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a land-grab case. He walked out of prison after receiving bail in all 81 cases lodged against him.

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