The Supreme Court on Wednesday (11 October) rejected a plea for interim relief from a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Abdullah Azam Khan. He is son of veteran SP leader Azam Khan.
The plea sought a directive to the trial court in Uttar Pradesh, urging it not to issue a final order in a pending criminal case until the claim of juvenility is determined, The Hindu reported.
The apex court, in a previous order on 26 September, had instructed the Moradabad District Judge to assess the claim of juvenility of Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan following the Juvenile Justice Act's procedures. The findings were to be submitted for further consideration by the Supreme Court.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Khan, referenced this order and requested that the trial court refrain from proceeding with the pending criminal case and convicting the accused until the juvenility report is filed. Sibal argued that sometimes the law impedes justice, asserting that this was such a case.
However, the court declined to grant the relief, stating, "We find no reason to pass any interim order at this stage. As per the earlier order, post the main matter after the report on juvenility is filed."
The Supreme Court's earlier order pertained to a 2008 criminal case in which Abdullah Azam Khan was convicted, leading to his disqualification as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Uttar Pradesh. The case involved charges of wrongful restraint and assault on a public servant.
In February, Abdullah Azam Khan was sentenced to two years in jail, resulting in his disqualification as an MLA. He challenged the high court's decision refusing to stay his conviction, asserting that he was a juvenile when the incident occurred.
The high court rejected his application, emphasising that a stay of conviction is an exception and not a rule, especially considering the need for purity in politics. The court highlighted that Abdullah Azam Khan faced multiple pending criminal cases, and disqualification extended beyond MPs and MLAs.
The additional chief judicial magistrate had sentenced both Azam Khan and his son to two years in prison and imposed fines in February. Following the conviction, Abdullah Azam Khan was disqualified from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
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