2019 Hate Speech Case: UP Court acquits SP Leader Azam Khan

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The conviction and sentence of three year imprisonment in the hate speech case had led to Khan's disqualification as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

An MP/MLA court (session trial) in Rampur district of Uttar Pradesh today granted Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan significant relief in the 2019 hate speech case. 

Additional District and Sessions Judge Amitveer Singh acquitted Khan in the case which had led to his disqualification as Member of State Assembly. The Sessions Judge set aside an October 2022 order whereby Khan had been convicted and sentenced to 3 years in jail for hate speech. 

On October 27, 2022, a special MP/MLA court in Rampur district had found Khan guilty in the case lodged in 2019 over his "provocative remarks" against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the then District Magistrate Aunjaneya Kumar Singh.

By virtue of the conviction and sentencing order, Khan was no longer eligible to serve in the state assembly or as a member of Parliament.

The hate speech case was registered in 2019 against Khan after the returning officer took cognizance on a complaint made to him by an advocate and a local BJP leader, alleging that Khan was trying to incite violence between two communities by delivering provocative statements during Lok Sambha elections campaigning.

The complainant had alleged that Khan also used foul language for the then DM and his mother.

Thereafter, the case was registered against Khan under Sections 153a (promoting enmity between two groups), 505-1 (statement conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code along with Section 125 of the Representation of People Act 1951.