The Supreme Court on Friday (17 January) refused to stay an Allahabad High Court order that annulled the election of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's son Abdullah Azam Khan as an MLA from Suar in Uttar Pradesh for being underage while filing the nomination papers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant however agreed to examine his plea against the HC judgment and issued notice to Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, who had filed the election petition in the High Court.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal argued before the apex court on behalf of Abdullah for a stay since the Uttar Pradesh government had decided to initiate criminal proceedings against him. The top court refused the stay or pass any other order to protect Abdullah from any coercive steps.
"We understand that the High Court would have gone into the details of the matter and then issued the orders. We are not staying the High Court judgment. Do not be so indignant about it. The High Court judgment is not based on nothing," the apex court observed.
Abdullah Khan's counsel relied on hospital records and the maternity leave of his mother to support his argument on Abdullah's date of birth. However, the court cited his school leaving certificate from the CBSE, which indicated he was underage when he filed nomination papers for the Assembly polls in 2017.
The apex court said it was not satisfied with the petitioner's arguments, but will issue the notice as doubt has been created.
Earlier, the Allahabad High Court ruled that Abdullah had produced fake documents about his age ahead of the 2017 elections and was underage at that time.
Petitioner Ali, who was with the Bahujan Samaj Party but later joined the Congress, had claimed that Abdullah was born on 1 January 1993, as per his educational certificate and passport etc.
"Abdullah Azam Khan was below the age of 25 when elections were held in 2017 but he forged documents to contest the polls," Ali averred in his petition.
On the other hand, Abdullah claimed his date of birth was 30 September 1990.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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