A Rampur court on Thursday dismissed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s plea to put a stay on his conviction in a hate speech case that led to his disqualification from the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, reported Bar and Bench.
On October 27, Khan was sentenced to three years in jail and fined Rs 2,000 by an Uttar Pradesh court for making remarks about Chief Minister Adityanath and former Rampur district magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh in 2019.
As a result of the sentence, Khan’s Rampur Sadar Assembly seat was declared vacant on October 28 under provisions of the Representation of the People Act.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had directed the Rampur court to hear Khan’s application seeking a stay on his conviction. The top court was also critical of the speed with which Khan’s disqualification proceedings were done by the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
Senior advocate P Chidambaram, representing Khan in the Supreme Court, had told a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that Bharatiya Janata Party’s Khatauli MLA Vikram Saini had been convicted on October 11 and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. But the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Secretariat has not disqualified him yet, Chidambaram said.
“What was the tearing hurry to disqualify him [Khan]?” the bench asked Additional Advocate General Garima Prasad, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government. “At least you should have given some breathing space to him.”
Akash Saxena, an advocate and a Bharatiya Janata Party leader had filed the case against Khan alleging that the Samajwadi Party leader tried to incite violence between Hindus and Muslims, The Times of India reported.
Khan had been booked under the Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between two groups) and 505(1) (statement conducing to public mischief), along with provisions of the Representative of People Act, 1951, The Times of India reported.