In a setback to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court Monday annulled the election of his son, Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan, as an MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Suar constituency on the grounds of being underage at the time of the election. The assembly elections was held in 2017 and culminated with BJP’s Yogi Adityanath becoming the Chief Minister.
PTI reported that a bench of Justice S P Kesarwani declared the election of the veteran Samajwadi Party leader’s son from the Suar assembly segment null and void on a plea by the defeated BSP candidate, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan.
Allowing Kazim Khan’s election petition, the bench ruled that Abdullah Azam Khan was not qualified to contest the election as he had not yet turned 25 at the time of filing of the nomination papers.
In his election petition against Abdullah Azam Khan, Kazim Khan had contended that the elected MLA’s actual date of birth was January 1, 1993, and not September 30, 1990, as claimed in the nomination paper. Hence, he was yet to reach 25 years of age to become eligible to fight the election, when he filed the nomination papers on January 25, 2017, Kazim Khan had contended.
Kazim Khan had further pointed out in his petition that educational certificates, passport and visa of Abdullah Azam Khan mentioned January 1, 1993 as his date of birth but there was an irregularity in his nomination papers as Abdullah Khan had mentioned September 30, 1990, as his birth date on the basis of a certificate from Lucknow’s Birth and Death registrar.
The bench annulled the Suar MLA after examining the facts as established by various documents, including the service record of Abdullah Khan’s mother. It also had mentioned January 1, 1993 as his date of birth. Emphasising on the service book of Abdullah Khan’s mother, Tazeen Fatima, a former Rajya Sabha MP, Justice Kesarwani said in his 49-page judgement that it was an “admitted piece of evidence”.
In its ruling unseating the Suar MLA, the court directed the high court’s registrar general to intimate the substance of the verdict to the Election Commission of India and the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly speaker to take follow-up actions.
Earlier in the case, Abdullah Khan’s mother appeared as a witness before the court and contended that her son was born on September 30, 1990 as can be seen by her service records, registering the fact that she had taken maternity leave in 1990. The court, however, rejected her claim. Dr Uma Singh, a senior gynaecologist at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Gandhi Memorial and associated hospitals, including K G Medical College, Lucknow, also appeared in the court as witness.
(With inputs from PTI)