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Uttar Pradesh: SP leader Azam khan finally walks free after 27 months in jail

In a relief to jailed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, the Supreme Court Thursday granted him interim bail in an alleged cheating case paving way for his release.

Paras Bisht Edited by: Paras Bisht @ParasBisht15 Lucknow Updated on: May 20, 2022 12:34 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan (L) after he was released from the jail, in Sitapur, Friday, May 20, 2022. 

Highlights

  • Top court had earlier expressed displeasure over delay in hearing bail application of Azam Khan
  • Khan was booked in a total of 89 cases related to book theft, buffalo theft, forgery and power theft
  • Supreme Court had granted him interim bail on Thursday

Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA, Mohd Azam Khan finally walked out from Sitapur jail on Friday morning where he spent the past 27 months.

Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) President, Shivpal Singh Yadav left for Sitapur early on Friday morning to receive Azam Khan when the latter walked out of jail. "A new sun is rising on the state's horizon," Yadav tweeted.

Azam Khan's lawyer Zubair Ahmad said they had already submitted two bail bonds of Rs one lakh each. Azam Khan is likely to head to Rampur after his release. His son Abdullah Azam tweeted that his father's release would bring him "like a sun out of the jail and the morning rays would eliminate the darkness of tyranny".

Also Read | 'Whenever he gets bail...': Supreme Court questions delay in bail to Azam Khan ​

In a relief to jailed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, the Supreme Court on Thursday granted him interim bail in an alleged cheating case paving way for his release, saying it is a fit case to invoke its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution as facts in the present case are very peculiar. "The petitioner is directed to be released on interim bail in respect of FIR being Case Crime No. 70 of 2020, registered with Police Station Kotwali, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh for the offences punishable under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code on such terms and conditions as found appropriate by the trial court,"  a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said. The bench noted that "in ordinary circumstances, we would not have entertained the present writ petition. The petitioner would have been directed to take recourse to the remedy available to him in law. However, the facts in the present case are very peculiar."

The top court also noted that the last such bail order has been passed on May 10, 2022, by the Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court after a gap of so many months from the date of reserving the order, i.e., December 4, 2021. The bench also rejected the submission of the Uttar Pradesh government that Khan has threatened the investigating officer (IO) in the case. The apex court also directed Khan to file for regular bail within two weeks and asked the trial court to decide it on merits without being influenced by any of the observations of the top court. Khan was lodged in Sitapur jail in connection with several cases, including that of land grabbing, against him in Rampur.

Article 142 of the Constitution deals with the Supreme Court's power to exercise its jurisdiction and pass the order for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it. The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier opposed Khan's bail plea and termed him as a "land grabber" and a "habitual offender". Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, had told the apex court that he had allegedly threatened the investigating officer in the land grabbing case. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, had submitted that from the facts, it is clear that the Ruling Party is making every attempt possible to keep Khan behind the bars by implicating him in one FIR after the other.

 
He had submitted that the present case is a case of political vendetta. The top court had earlier expressed displeasure over the delay in hearing the bail application of Khan, saying this is a travesty of justice. 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. The FIR was lodged at the Azem Nagar police station in Rampur under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. 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.

Also Read | Azam Khan granted interim bail in cheating case ​

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