THE RETURNING officer of Swar constituency on Monday dismissed BSP candidate Nawab Kazim Ali Khan’s complaint, alleging that SP minister Azam Khan’s son Abdullah is not yet 25 years old and thus, cannot contest the UP polls. Abdullah is the ruling party’s candidate from the constituency in Rampur. While Abdullah’s lawyer produced a birth certificate from the Lucknow Nagar Nigam and Aadhar Card to substantiate his age before the returning officer, Kazim Ali questioned why Abdullah, who has a MTech degree, did not produce his Class X marksheet as proof. Kazim Ali maintained he will move court.
On Friday, Kazim Ali had filed a complaint before Rampur District Magistrate Amit Kishore, alleging that Abdullah is not eligible to contest. He claimed that Abdullah had undergone the ossification test at Rampur District Hospital and obtained an age certificate from the chief medical officer (CMO). The next day, the District Magistrate sought a report from the CMO.
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After three hours of argument by the counsels of Kazim Ali and Abdullah, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Swar-Tanda and Returning Officer Gajendra Singh ruled in favour of the SP candidate. “The burden of proof lies with the opponent… they must produce documentary evidence to prove the allegations… I am a returning officer and not the investigating officer. I have to take the municipal certificate as proof. The opposition must have produced some evidence but they failed,” said Gajendra Singh.
He added that as per his nomination papers and the nagar nigam certificate, Abdullah’s date of birth is September 30, 1990. Abdullah had also filed an affidavit in support of his documents. “We had filed our objection under Section 36 of the Representation of People Act and informed the returning officer that the proposed nominee has not attained the required age of 25 years, defined under Article 173 of the constitution,” said Khan. “We said that Abdullah Khan should produce his Class X certificate to prove his age but he failed to do so before the returning officer. As per law, a person with educational qualifications has to prove his age by producing his high school certificate,” Kazim Ali claimed.