Azam Khan gets two-year jail term in 2019 hate speech case

The SP leader had been charged with giving an inflammatory speech against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and then District Magistrate of Rampur Aunjaneya Kumar Singh

July 15, 2023 05:15 pm | Updated 07:36 pm IST - Lucknow

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. File

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. File | Photo Credit: PTI

A Rampur court on Saturday sentenced senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and 10-time MLA Azam Khan to two years in jail in a hate speech case lodged during the 2019 parliamentary election campaign.

The court found Mr. Khan guilty under Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act, Sections 171 G (false statement in connection with an election) and 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).

The case was registered at the Shahjad Nagar police station in Rampur on April 8, 2019, with the SP strongman charged with giving an inflammatory speech against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and then District Magistrate of Rampur Aunjaneya Kumar Singh.

This is the third case since October 2022 in which Mr. Khan has been convicted by the courts. In one of the cases, his appeal against the lower court judgment was overturned and he was acquitted in May 2023. The conviction in October last year in the same case in which he was later acquitted led to Mr. Khan losing the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha membership, leading to a byelection, which was won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Akash Saxena.

The SP alleged that Mr. Khan is being wrongly framed by the BJP government and said it hoped to get respite from higher courts as in the October 2022 matter. “Azam Saheb is being convicted in a case wrongly framed by the BJP, we have full faith in the judicial process that our leader will be acquitted by higher courts like the previous case,” said Ameeque Jamei, the SP’s national spokesperson.

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