Azam Khan disqualified as UP MLA after conviction in hate speech
Lucknow, Oct 28: Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MLA Azam Khan was on Friday disqualified from the membership of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, as per the Office of UP Assembly Speaker, a day after he was sentenced to 3 years in prison along with a fine of Rs 2,000 in a hate speech case of 2019.
Principal Secretary of the UP Legislative Assembly, Pradeep Dubey told PTI that the assembly secretariat has declared the Rampur Sadar Assembly seat as vacant.
''A vacancy has been declared by the UP Vidhan Sabha Secretariat consequent upon the disqualification due to the judgment passed by the court,'' he said.
Dubey said, ''We do not disqualify (a sitting member), we only declare vacancy (of the respective seat). Disqualification had already been done by the court order.'' Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in a tweet in Hindi said, ''(We) welcome the decision of Speaker Satish Mahana ji to annul the membership of Vidhan Sabha of Azam Khan. Whenever the bye-elections are held on the vacant seats, the BJP's lotus will bloom.'' '
The Rampur MP-MLA court had on Thursday convicted Khan in a 2019 hate speech case and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment.
The Representation of the People Act says that anyone sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more shall be disqualified "from the date of such conviction" and remain disqualified for another six years after serving time in jail.
The Speaker can start the disqualification proceedings either suo motu or after receiving an application on this. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 on the Rampur MLA on three counts, advocate Ajay Tiwari said.
The case was registered against Khan in Rampur in April 2019 for levelling serious allegations against administrative officials posted in Rampur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during an election meeting.
The Special MP/MLA court of Rampur found Khan guilty under Sections 153-A (inciting religious feelings), 505-A (giving false statement intended to create feelings of enmity, hatred or animosity between different communities) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 125 (promoting animosity between different classes in connection with elections) of the Representation of the People Act.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Khan was booked for making inflammatory speeches while addressing a public meeting in Khatanagaria village of the Milak Kotwali area. The video of Khan's statement also surfaced on social media.
Khan was released from jail earlier this year after the Supreme Court granted him an interim bail in a cheating case. He spent nearly two years in jail. The SP leader faces nearly 90 cases, including that of corruption and theft. He had won from the Rampur Sadar assembly seat in the UP Assembly polls for a record 10th time. After becoming an MLA, he resigned from the Lok Sabha.