Azam Khan gets relief in hate speech case

In a relief to senior Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday refused to accept a prayer for issuing directions for the lodging of an FIR against him over an alleged hate speech.

The Lucknow bench of the court also refused to issue a writ of ‘quo warranto’ (right to hold an office or governmental privilege) against him in the matter.

However, the court issued a notice to Azam and sought a reply from him within six weeks on whether, being a state Cabinet Minister, he can hold the office of the Chancellor of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.

A division bench of Justices Devi Prasad Singh and Arvind Kumar Tripathi passed the order on a writ petition filed by two persons seeking a direction in the nature of quo warranto against Azam asking him to explain.

A direction was also sought in the plea for the lodging of an FIR against the Minister in connection with an alleged hate speech by him targeting a cleric.

The petitioners’ counsel Ashok Pandey alleged that despite being a Cabinet Minister, Azam was holding the post of Chancellor of Jauhar University, which is an office of profit and hence against the law.

The court fixed the next date of hearing after two months.

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