Azam sentenced to 2 yrs imprisonment in hate speech case

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Samajwadi Party (SP) national general secretary and former cabinet minister Mohammad Azam Khan was sentenced to two years imprisonment along with a penalty of Rs 2,500 in a hate speech case by an MP-MLA court here on Saturday, prosecution counsel said.

Assistant counsel of prosecution side Sandeep Saxena said that Azam was charged under three sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “While the court of Special Judge Shobit Bansal sentenced Azam to two years imprisonment each on two counts, it awarded one month imprisonment on one count,” he said.

He said that the court imposed a penalty of Rs 1,000 each in two sections and Rs 500 in one section. “Azam was accused of making objectionable comments on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the then District Magistrate of Rampur Aunjaneya Singh after which a case was lodged against Shahzad Nagar police station,” he said.

Sources said that during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls a video of Azam Khan went viral on social media. At that time Azam was contesting the Lok Sabha polls as a joint candidate of SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (SP). “It was alleged that Azam made objectionable and provocative speech against people on Constitutional posts and the officers,” they said.

Sources said that after the video went viral the then in-charge of monitoring cell and ADO Panchayat Anil Chauhan lodged a case against Azam at Shahzad Nagar police station. “While the police had filed the charge sheet against the SP leader, Azam was currently on bail in this case,” they said.

Meanwhile, Azam’s counsel Zubair Ahmad Khan said that the SP leader will move the higher court against the conviction. It may be noted that this is the second hate speech case in which Azam has been convicted by the court.

It may be noted that on October 27, 2022 an MP-MLA court in Rampur held Azam Khan guilty of giving provocative speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then District Magistrate of Rampur and sentenced him to three years imprisonment along with a penalty of Rs 25,000.

Following conviction Azam, who was MLA from Rampur Sadar seat at that time, was disqualified from the membership of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

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