New Delhi:The Supreme Court today granted temporary bail to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in an alleged cheating case, citing exceptional evidence submitted before it. Interim bail will be in effect until his formal bail plea is decided, allowing him to be released.
In light of the unusual conditions of the case, the court applied Article 142 to award Khan relief. Article 142 gives the Supreme Court the ability to perform “full justice” between the parties in cases when the law or statute does not afford a remedy.
The case involved accused land grabbing and forgery in connection with Rampur Public School. He’s been accused of falsifying building certificates to get the institution recognized.
A writ petition was being heard by a bench of Justices LN Rao, BR Gavai, and AS Bopanna. The Bench had previously expressed worry over the Allahabad High Court’s delay in deciding Mr Khan’s bail application.
Since 2020, the Samajwadi Party’s strongman has been imprisoned in Sitapur. The court had deferred its decision in the case on Tuesday.
The Uttar Pradesh government had told the court that the investigators in the case have been threatened. They had allegedly been threatened even when Mr Khan’s testimony was recorded, police said.
Mr Khan’s lawyer senior advocate Kapil Sibbal told the court that Mr Khan has been in prison for the past two years and thus the question of him threatening anyone does not arise.
Earlier this month, the Allahabad High Court granted Mr Khan bail in a land grab case days after a sharp rebuke by the Supreme Court.
Mr Khan, a popular Muslim face of the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and one of its most powerful leaders, faced a slew of charges when the BJP took power in Uttar Pradesh. Despite this, he managed to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Rampur and the 2022 state elections from behind bars.
The Supreme Court had earlier voiced dissatisfaction with the delay in deciding Mr Khan’s bail application in the land grab case, calling it “a miscarriage of justice.”
BSP chief Mayawati has also come out in support of Mr Khan, saying his continued incarceration is being regarded as a “strangulation of justice” by the common man.
Azam Khan, a former state minister, got bail in 88 out of 89 cases but fresh cases were filed against him.