SC notice to UP govt on disqualified MLA Abdullah Azam Khan’s plea for stay on conviction
The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s son challenging the high court refusal to stay his conviction in a more than a decade-old case, which led to his disqualification as an MLA.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s son challenging the high court refusal to stay his conviction in a more than a decade-old case, which led to his disqualification as an MLA.
An advocate, representing Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan, submitted before a bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi that his client was a juvenile when the incident took place.
The bench, also comprising Justice Bela M. Trivedi, said that the court was not examining petitioner’s juvenility, rather looking at his prayer seeking stay on conviction. The top court was informed that the election to Suar assembly constituency, which has been vacant after Khan’s disqualification, is scheduled for May 10.
Khan filed an appeal in the apex court challenging the April 13 order of the Allahabad High Court, which declined to stay his conviction.
The bench issued notice to the UP government and sought its reply, and made it clear that the election will be subject to the outcome of the petition.
It asked Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, representing the UP government: “Can we test the morality of an individual, convicted and sentenced? Can he not be an elected representative?”
The bench said the state has to demonstrate prima facie that he has done a crime in his own capacity. Nataraj submitted that he will file his response to the appeal filed by Khan.
After hearing submissions, the bench said: “Let the counter be filed. Let the election to be held on May 10 be subject to the outcome of this special leave petition.” It has scheduled the matter for further hearing in the second week of July.
In February, Khan was awarded two years’ imprisonment in the case by a Moradabad court. His conviction led to his disqualification as MLA.
It has been alleged that Khan and his father had blocked traffic after their vehicle was stopped by the police for checking.
A criminal case was registered in 2008 against Khan and his father Azam Khan at Chhajlet police station in Moradabad under sections 341 and 353 of the IPC.