A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur on Saturday sentenced Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan to two years imprisonment in a hate speech case filed during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, PTI reported.
Khan is accused of delivering a speech targeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, former District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh and the Election Commission at a rally in the Dhamora area on April 8, 2019.
A complaint was filed by Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) Anil Kumar Chauhan after a video of Khan’s speech went viral.
Judge Shobhit Bansal on Saturday convicted the 74-year-old under Indian Penal Code Sections 505 (1) B (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public) and 171G (false statement in connection with an election) as well as Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act.
He also imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Joint Director Prosecution Shiv Prakash Pandey said.
This is the third case since October in which Khan has been convicted by the courts. In one of the case, also lodged in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, his appeal against a lower court judgment was allowed and he was acquitted in May.
However, the conviction had led to his disqualification as an MLA. Khan had been elected from the Rampur constituency, a seat he has won 10 times. In a bye-poll held later, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Akash Saxena, the complainant in the case, defeated Khan’s close aide and Samajwadi Party candidate Asim Raja.
In February, Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan were sentenced to two years in jail by a Moradabad court in a 15-year-old case for allegedly blocking traffic after their vehicle was stopped by the police for checking. However, they were later granted bail.