Senior Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MLA Mohammad Azam Khan, who has been in prison since the last two years, walked out of Sitapur jail on Friday morning, a day after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a land-grabbing case.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court exercised its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution as it flagged the “peculiar” circumstances of the matter.
“Azam Khan was in jail following 81 cases lodged against him. After receiving bail orders in all 81 cases, Azam Khan was released today morning,” Sitapur district jail superintendent Suresh Singh.
Azam Khan had contested the recently held Assembly election from Rampur Khas seat from inside the jail and won by a decent margin. After winning the Assembly election, he had resigned as a member of the Parliament.
Since the BJP came to power in 2017, as many as 81 cases were registered against Azam Khan on various charges, including land grabbing, cheating and criminal trespass at different police stations in Rampur. In some cases, Azam’s wife Tanzeen Fatima and son Abdullah Azam are also booked. Tanzeen Fatima obtained bail in December 2020 and Mohammad Abdullah was released in January this year.
Azam Khan is the founder and chancellor of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur.
On February 26, 2020, Khan, his wife and son had surrendered before a local court in Rampur over their connection with a case related to alleged forgery of Abdullah’s birth certificate. As many as 41 cases were lodged against Abdullah and 32 against Fatima Tanzeen. While in jail, Azam Khan was shifted to Lucknow’s Medanta Hospital after complaints of breathlessness.
Recently, Azam Khan had refused to meet Samajwadi Party MLA from Lucknow Ravidas Mehrotra. Mehrotra had told reporters that he had gone to Sitapur to meet Khan on the directions of party president Akhilesh Yadav, two days after the SP chief’s uncle Shivpal Yadav had met Khan inside the jail.
The Enforcement Directorate is also investigating a money laundering case against Khan. A few months back, ED issued several notices to people who had reportedly donated to the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar trust run by Mohammad Ali Jauhar University. Samajwadi Party had alleged that the police were harassing supporters and associates of Khan.
Recently, Azam Khan’s associates, including his public relations officer, were externed from Rampur by district administration for six months under the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act.