SENIOR SAMAJWADI Party (SP) leader and Rampur MP Azam Khan, his wife and local MLA Tanzeen Fatima and his son Abdullah Azam Khan, were sent to jail on Wednesday after they surrendered before a local court as their bail applications were rejected in connection with a case related to alleged forgery of Abdullah’s birth certificate. The next hearing in this matter will be held on March 2. Abdullah’s Assembly membership was cancelled by the Allahabad High Court for forging his date of birth and his petition against the order is pending in the Supreme Court. He was elected MLA from Swar in Rampur.
Additional District Government Counsel (criminal) Ram Avtar Saini said, “Azam Khan, Tanzin and Abdullah surrendered in the court on Wednesday afternoon. Several cases against Azam are pending in the court where he, along with wife and son, surrendered.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 2. Till then, they will be in judicial custody. The same court had on Tuesday ordered attachment of their properties in the case where Abdullah Azam Khan had allegedly used two birth certificates. That is the main case for which the three were sent to judicial custody.”
Saini added that the court has asked police stations to submit reports on Azam’s culpability in 11 other cases on Thursday. “On Wednesday also, Azam had applied for bail in several cases. Out of them, in four not so serious cases, he was granted bail, and in 11 cases, a report was sought from different police stations,” added Saini.
The FIR in the particular case the three sent to jail was lodged on January 3 last year on a complaint of local BJP leader Akash Saxena at the Ganj police station. The complaint alleged, “In a conspiracy by Azam Khan, Tanzeen Fatima, they got two birth certificates made for their son – one which said he was born in Rampur and another that said he was born in Lucknow. These certificates were used for their personal gains. They got two birth certificates issued for Abdullah, one on June 28, 2012 from Rampur municipality. In this, his place of birth is Rampur and it was issued on the basis of an oath letter by Tanzeen Fatima and Azam Khan. The second one was issued January 21, 2015 by the Lucknow municipality. This was issued based on a certificate given by Mary Hospital in Lucknow. He has misused the first one for his passport and for travels abroad, while the second one was used for government records and for getting affiliation for Jauhar University,” stated the complaint by Saxena. The FIR was registered under IPC sections including 193 (false evidence), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery). Azam, Tanzeen and Abdullah were named in the FIR.
Circle Officer Rampur (City) Vidya Kishore Sharma informed that they (Azam, wife and son) were taken into custody in court after they surrendered before the court of Rampur Additional District Judge VI. “They had come to surrender before the court and were produced before the judge. We are trying to get their remand in other cases too. They have been arrested in the fake documents case,” said Sharma. Azam and his family members face several other cases with Azam having 86 cases lodged against him since April last year.
In January, a Rampur local court had declared Azam an absconder after he failed to appear before it despite summons issued against him for allegedly violating the model code of conduct during Lok Sabha polls last year – the third such case against him in a month.
The other two cases in which the Rampur MP was declared an absconder are related to alleged fraudulent birth documents of his son Abdullah, an MLA, and a “threat” case filed by a neighbour of Azam.
Reacting to Wednesday’s development, Samajwadi Party state president Naresh Uttam Patel alleged that the BJP government in the state had “targeted” Azam Khan to “ruin his image but he will get justice.” “Since the BJP government has come to power in the state, they have been repeatedly humiliating Azam. The BJP has lodged all types of cases against him so that his image is ruined. But Azam is a leader who follows the law and that is why he surrendered in court and we are sure that the court will deliver justice,” said Patel.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s media adviser Mritunjay Kumar tweeted, “The delusion of those who misused power is soon going away. SP leader going to jail is a result of government’s zero tolerance against corruption. The message is clear that the criminal might be a powerful person, but under the Yogi government they will not be spared.”
Of 86 cases lodged against him, Azam Khan, who is also the chancellor of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur, is facing 27 FIRs, lodged between July 13 and July 20 this year, over alleged land grab for the university’s expansion. One of those 27 FIRs has been lodged by the district administration over allegations of “usurping five hectares of river land”.
Of the cases lodged against Azam Khan and others since April last year, police have submitted the chargesheet in seven cases, police said.
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