Azam Khan released from prison after 2+ years, 81 cases
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Rampur Azam Khan finally walked out of the Sitapur Jail on Friday morning after more than two years. The development comes a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a land-grabbing case. The court exercised its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution by highlighting the "peculiar" circumstances of the case.
Why does this story matter?
Khan has been in jail for over two years. His bail application was languishing in the Allahabad High Court (HC). He was chosen as the SP contender for Rampur in the 2022 UP elections. He had then moved the SC seeking interim bail, but the court had then refused to intervene. Later, the top court directed the HC to expedite his bail plea.
What made Khan's release possible?
Khan was granted interim bail by a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, and S Gopanna on Thursday. As per News18, the SC order arrived late on Thursday night at the jail. It stated that Khan will be going directly to Rampur from the Sitapur Jail.
Jubilation outside Sitapur Jail to welcome Khan
There was jubilation outside the Sitapur Jail when Khan walked out. Khan was welcomed by his family members, SP workers, and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia chief Shivpal Yadav. Shivpal, who has been a staunch supporter of Khan, slammed his nephew and SP National President Akhilesh Yadav for constantly ignoring the veteran party leader.
No prominent SP leader present outside jail
The SP chief and prominent party leaders were allegedly absent from the event. Only a few local leaders of the party had reached the jail to welcome him. However, after Khan's release, Akhilesh tweeted saying that "lies have moments, not centuries." He hailed the leader's release from jail and said that by granting bail, the Supreme Court had given new standards to justice.
Have a look at Akhilesh's tweet in Hindi
81 cases against Azam since BJP assumed power in UP
Reportedly, 81 cases were filed against Khan at various police stations in Rampur since the BJP seized power in UP in 2017. The cases involved land grabbing, cheating, and criminal trespass, among others. In addition to Khan, his wife Tanzeen Fatima and son Abdullah were also indicted in many instances. In January, Abdullah was released, while Tanzeen got bail in December 2020.
ED investigating Khan in money laundering case
Khan is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for money laundering. Recently, several persons who allegedly donated to the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust, which is operated by Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, of which Khan is the founder and chancellor, received letters from the investigation agency. Khan's party had then alleged that police were harassing his followers and friends.