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Friday, September 24, 2021

Jauhar University land row: Court junks Azam Khan plea against order to demolish varsity gates

The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 3.27 crore on the university, whose chancellor is Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MP Azam Khan.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 3, 2021 5:28:36 am
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. (File)

THE COURT of the district judge in Rampur on Monday dismissed an appeal filed against an order issued by a lower court directing that the main entrance gates of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University be demolished. According to the district administration, the gates are built on land belonging to the Public Works Department (PWD).

The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 3.27 crore on the university, whose chancellor is Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MP Azam Khan. The fine was for the damages from June, 2016 to May, 2019. In its order, local court had also directed that an additional fine of Rs 9.10 lakh a month should be paid till the removal of possession.

“Against the lower court judgment, two appeals – one by Azam Khan and the second by Mohammad Ali Jauhar University through its registrar – were filed in the court of the district judge. The court clubbed both appeals.

On Monday, district judge Gaurav Kumar Srivastava dismissed appeals filed against the lower court order. The court also modified the damages’ cost and directed that the opposite party be paid Rs 1.638 crore. The court also directed to pay Rs 4.55 lakh a month till removal of the possession,” said district government counsel, Rampur (civil), Rajeev Agarwal.

In March 2019, the court of sub-divisional magistrate, Rampur allowed the PWD’s application for ejectment and recovery of damages and directed the opposite party to remove unauthorised possession over the disputed land, within 15 days of the order being issued.

The PWD has alleged that they constructed a four-laned road around two kilometres along with divider and 1.5-km link road. It claims that after the construction and widening of roads by the state government, these two roads become public road and opposite party has constructed the main gate of the University and also walls causing obstruction in transmigration on the public road. It claims that this act of the opposite party deems encroachment and unauthorised possession.

Azam Khan is undergoing treatment in hospital over the past two weeks when he was shifted out of Sitapur district jail after complaining of breathlessness. Azam Khan is in judicial custody since last year in February after he surrendered before a local court in Rampur in connection with a case.

The state police have lodged 81 criminal cases against the SP leader since the BJP government came to power in 2017. Among the charges against him including cheating, criminal trespass and also land-grabbing. In most of the cases, MP’s wife and local MLA Tazeen Fatima and their son Abdullah Azam Khan are co-accused.

In December last year, Tazeen Fatima was granted bail and was released from jail. Azam and Abdullah are still in jail.

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