In a jolt to Rampur MP Mohmmad Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court on Monday annulled the election of senior SP leader's son Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan as an Uttar Pradesh MLA on the ground that he was underage and not qualified to fight the poll in 2017.
A bench of Justice S P Kesarwani declared the election of the junior Khan from the Suar assembly segment null and void on a plea by the defeated BSP candidate, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan.
Allowing Kazim Khan's election petition, the bench ruled that Abdullah Azam Khan was not qualified to contest the election of the legislative assembly as he had not yet turned 25 when he filed the nomination papers for the assembly election in 2017.
In his election petition against Abdullah Khan, Kazim Khan had contended that the elected MLA's actual date of birth was January 1, 1993, and not September 30, 1990, as claimed in the nomination paper.
Accordingly, he was yet to reach 25 years of age to become eligible to fight the election, when he filed the nomination papers on January 25, 2017, Kazim Khan had contended.
Abdullah Khan was elected as MLA from Suar constituency of Rampur district in Uttar Pradesh on a Samajwadi Party ticket on March 11, 2017.
The unsuccessful Bahujan Samaj Party candidate from the Suar assembly segment, Kazim Khan, had further pointed out in his election petition that educational certificates, passport and visa of Abdullah Khan mentioned January 1, 1993, as his date of birth.
But in his nomination papers, Abdullah Khan had mentioned September 30, 1990, as his birth date on the basis of a certificate from Lucknow's Birth and Death registrar.
The bench unseated the Suar MLA after examining the entire facts as borne out of various documents, including the service record of Abdullah Khan's mother. It too had mentioned January 1, 1993, as his date of birth.
Placing special reliance on the service book of Abdullah Khan's mother, Tazeen Fatima, a former Rajya Sabha MP, Justice Kesarwani said in his 49-page judgment that it was an "admitted piece of evidence".
In its ruling unseating the Suar MLA, the court directed the high court's registrar general to intimate the substance of the verdict to the Election Commission of India and the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly speaker to take follow-up actions.
To buttress his contention, Kazim Khan, a four-time MLA from Suar, had contended that Azam Khan's son had filed false documents in support of his age.
Earlier at one stage, Abdullah Khan's mother appeared as a witness before the court and contended that her son was born on September 30, 1990, as can be seen by her service records, registering the fact that she had taken maternity leave in 1990.
The court, however, rejected her claim.
Besides her, Dr. Uma Singh, a senior gynaecologist at Queen Mary's Hospital, Gandhi Memorial and associated hospitals, including KG Medical College, Lucknow, also appeared in the court as a witness.
After recording the statements of all witnesses and having heard the arguments of all sides, the court had reserved its judgment on September 27, 2019.