The Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Tuesday was granted regular bail in the 2019 hate speech case by the Rampur sessions court, reported The New Indian Express.
Khan was out on interim bail granted to him by the Supreme Court that was extended till November 22, reported the newspaper.
On October 27, a Rampur court had sentenced Khan to three years in jail for making remarks about Chief Minister Adityanath and former Rampur District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh in 2019. Khan’s conviction in the hate speech case had also led to his disqualification from the Rampur Sadar Assembly seat on October 28.
The Samajwadi Party leader had challenged his disqualification from the state Legislative Assembly, which came within 24 hours of his conviction, by an MP-MLA court in the Supreme Court.
On November 7, 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. However, on November 10 the Rampur court dismissed the Samajwadi Party leader’s plea to put a stay on his conviction.
Khan was convicted under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, which prosecutes “promoting enmity between groups” and Section 505 (1), which deals with rumours or statements calculated to cause public alarm as well as the Representation of the People Act, which codifies the grounds for disqualification of legislators, among other matters.
The 10-time MLA from Rampur Sadar currently faces over 90 other charges, including corruption and theft, in various cases.
In May, Khan was released from a jail in Sitapur after being in custody for over two years in connection with a land-grabbing case. The Supreme Court had given him interim bail in the case where he was accused of illegally acquiring a 13.84-hectare plot in Rampur district for constructing the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University.