A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur on Wednesday sentenced Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, his wife Tazeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam to seven years in jail, reported The Indian Express.

The conviction came in a case related to the forgery of Abdullah Azam’s birth certificate. In 2019, Akash Saxena, who is now the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Rampur, filed a complaint against Azam Khan and Tanzeen Fatima, accusing them of getting two birth certificates made for Abdullah Azam through conspiracy.

The trio was convicted under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged 1[document or electronic record]) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

“There is a difference between verdict and justice,” Azam Khan told India Today after the verdict was delivered. “Today, a verdict has been given, not justice.”

What is the case about?

Abdullah Azam has been accused of obtaining a passport and going on foreign tours using a birth certificate, which states he was born in Rampur. He allegedly used the second birth certificate for government records and to get affiliation with Jauhar University.

While the first certificate was issued on the basis of an oath letter by Tanzeen Fatima and Azam Khan on June 28, 2012, the second one was issued by the Lucknow municipality on January 21, 2015. The accused surrendered before a local court in Rampur on February 26, 2020, in connection with the case. They later got bail.

Azam Khan has reportedly been booked in 81 cases since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

In July, the Samajwadi Party leader was sentenced to two years imprisonment in a hate speech case filed during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign. He was 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.

He was disqualified as MLA of the Rampur Sadar seat in October last year after getting convicted in another case.