- On Tuesday, the UP government had opposed the bail plea of jailed Azam Khan
- The apex court had reserved its order after hearing the parties
- Khan was lodged in Sitapur jail in connection with a number of cases
The Supreme Court on Thursday granted interim bail to jailed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in a cheating case.
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao invoked its special power under Article 142 of the Constitution to grant relief to Khan in view of the peculiar facts of the case.
The apex court said the interim bail will operate till the court decides on the application for regular bail.
"This is a fit case to exercise the powers under Article 142," the bench, also comprising Justices BR Gavai and AS Bopanna, said.
On Tuesday, the UP government had opposed the bail plea of jailed Azam Khan, and termed him as a "land grabber" and a "habitual offender".
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao that he has allegedly threatened the investigating officer in the land grabbing case.
“He is a land grabber. Private complaints have been filed against him…. He is a habitual offender. Everything is forged by this person,” the ASG told the bench also comprising Justices BR Gavai and AS Bopanna.
The ASG said Khan is seeking interim bail which cannot be granted.
However, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Khan, submitted that as his client is in jail for two years, how can he threaten somebody.
Sibal contended that the state government cannot conduct itself in a "barbaric manner".
The apex court had reserved its order after hearing the parties.
Azam Khan case
Azam Khan has been out on bail in all matters except one for so long, this is travesty of justice. We will not say anything more, the bench had said.
The counsel appearing for Khan had told the apex court that the high court has reserved its verdict on the bail application.
The Allahabad High Court on May 5 had reserved its order on the bail application of Khan in the case of grabbing of enemy property for his Mohammad Ali Jauhar University project.
An FIR was lodged against Khan and others for alleged grabbing of enemy property and misappropriation of public money of more than hundreds of crores of rupees.
It was alleged in the FIR that during Partition one Imamuddin Qureshi went to Pakistan and his land was recorded as enemy property, but Khan in collusion with others grabbed the plot.
Earlier, the apex court in February had refused interim bail to Khan for campaigning in the Uttar Pradesh elections and asked him to approach the court concerned for expeditious disposal.
Khan was lodged in Sitapur jail in connection with a number of cases, including that of land grabbing, lodged against him in Rampur.
(With inputs from PTI)