Supreme Court gives Azam Khan leeway to seek stay on conviction


The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of India to issue the gazette notification for declaring the by-poll schedule for the 37-Rampur Assembly constituency on or after November 11, giving Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan time to seek a stay on his conviction in a hate speech case which led to his disqualification from the seat.

The Election Commission has already written to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer to not to go ahead with the issuance of the gazette notification in compliance with the Supreme Court direction.

A Bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud further advanced the hearing date of Mr. Khan’s plea to stay his conviction. The Bench ordered a Rampur Additional Sessions Court to hear the application on November 10 and decide it the same day. The case was originally listed on November 15.

The apex court was also informed that the Sessions Judge in Rampur had earlier allowed Mr. Khan interim bail in the case.

“The Gazette notification for declaring the election schedule for the 37-Rampur Assembly Constituency may be issued on or after 11 November 2022 depending upon the outcome of the application for stay of conviction,” the Bench directed.

The Special Magistrate court had convicted Mr. Khan in the hate speech case on October 27.

The Secretariat of the Legislative Assembly had issued a Gazette notification the very next day of the conviction, declaring the 37–Rampur Assembly Constituency vacant.

On November 5, the Election Commission had issued a press release declaring the schedule for by-elections in five Assembly constituencies across various States including the 37-Rampur Assembly constituency.


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