In a major setback to Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court has cancelled the election of Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Azam. Abdullah Azam was not of the right age while contesting the election and, for this, he used fake documents, as alleged by Nawab Kazim Ali, who was the BSP candidate who filed a complaint against Abdullah Azam.
The complaint alleged that Abdullah was not 25 years old at the time of the election. Abdullah was accused of contesting the election by furnishing fake documents. Hearing this complaint, the Allahabad High Court reserved its verdict on 27 September. Today, the bench of Justice SP Kesarwani has given the verdict.
Abdullah Azam is the younger son of SP MP Azam Khan. Abdullah contested for the first time in the 2017 UP Assembly election. Abdullah won the election from Suar assembly seat in Rampur region.
In the 2017 Assembly election, while the BJP swept Uttar Pradesh, both Azam Khan and his son Abdullah managed to win their seats in Rampur. Abdullah Azam defeated BJP candidate Lakshmi Saini by more than 50,000 votes while Nawab Kazim Ali of BSP stood third.
In January this year, a case was registered against the entire family of Azam Khan on the complaint of Akash Saxena. In his complaint, Saxena had accused Azam Khan’s son MLA Abdula Azam of making two birth certificates.
A birth certificate of Abdullah Azam issued on 28 June 2012 from Rampur Municipal Council was based on affidavits of Azam Khan and Dr Tajin Fatima, in which Rampur is shown the birthplace of Abdullah. At the same time, another certificate was made from Lucknow Municipal Corporation on 21 January 2015, issued on the basis of the duplicate birth certificate of Queen Mary Hospital, which showed Lucknow is shown the birthplace of Abdullah.
While Azam Khan makes news mostly for wrong reasons such as Islamic bigotry, obscene gestures, land grab, using police to locate his lost buffalos and association with antisocial elements of Rampur, his son has earned the dubious distinction of being part of shady deals such as obstructing officials during a raid at Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur and creating hurdles in government work. Over 2,500 rare stolen books were recovered from the university’s library.
BJP man who helped prove Azam Khan’s son guilty
One person who has been instrumental in collecting all the documents against Abdullah is BJP leader Akash Saxena Honey. He shared his account of the case with the media, saying he had complained against Abdullah Azam to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in August 2017.
After that, the then DM Rampur Shiv Sagar Awasthi investigated the antecedents of Abdullah. During the investigation, he found that Abdullah had, at the time of his nomination, not included any birth proof along with the mandatory affidavit. Instead, he enclosed a copy of his PAN card in the package to the ECI.
When the PAN card was examined, it was found to be fake. The age in the original PAN card was 24 years while the affidavit claimed he was 25 years old.
Saxena says that he complained to the ECI about the two birth certificates that Azam Khan and Tazin Fatma had submitted to Rampur Municipality and Lucknow Municipal Corporation. The complaint was found correct, after which a case was filed at the Civil Lines Police Station in Rampur. Azam Khan, Tazin Fatma and Abdullah Azam are co-accused in the case that is still being heard in the court.
Saxena says that Abdullah submitted not only two PAN cards and two birth certificates but also gave incorrect information in his passport.
The BJP politician says since an election petition can be submitted in the court only by the person who contested in the election, the petitions were filed by BSP’s Nawab Kazim Ali and his acquaintance Nawed Mian who had contested in the same election. But all the documents were provided by Saxena as evidence, the BJP leader says.
Saxena said, “I am pleading with the judiciary that the cancellation of Abdullah Azam’s election is not everything. The court should not allow him to contest elections for at least 20 years.”