The Allahabad High Court Monday restored the arms licence of former Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister Azam Khan, partially setting aside an order by the Rampur district magistrate, suspending the licence.
A bench of Justice Siddhartha, however, endorsed the other part of district magistrate's March 23 order which had also asked Khan to explain as to why his arms licence should not be cancelled permanently.
The bench directed the Rampur DM to seek Khan's explanations on a date after the ongoing Lok Sabha polls are over.
The bench gave its order on a plea by the Samajwadi Party founder member challenging the suspension of his arms licence by the Rampur DM.
Khan's counsel Imran Ullah alleged a malfide behind Rampur DM's move in suspending his client's arms licence, saying that he had passed the order after Khan's wife Tazeen Fatima, a Rajya Sabha MP, lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking the DM's transfer.
In her complaint to the poll panel, Fatima had sought transfer of Rampur's district magistrate, accusing him of harassing Khan for political reasons, Ullah told the court.
He said Fatima had requested the poll panel to transfer Rampur DM to ensure a free and fair election in Rampur.
Khan is contesting for the Rampur Lok Sabha seat, the polling for which is scheduled to held on April 23, in the third phase of the ongoing polls.
The additional advocate general representing the state government, however, opposed Khan's plea saying the district magistrate's order was merely a show cause notice and there was alternative remedy available to Khan against it as he could have appealed before the commissioner against the order.