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UP Court Acquits Azam Khan in Hate Speech Case, Overturns Lower Court Verdict

Last year, a court had found the Samajwadi Party leader guilty of hate speech.

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Law
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An Uttar Pradesh court acquitted Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Wednesday, 24 May, in a 2019 hate speech case.

The court overturned the lower court judgment which had found the former Rampur MLA guilty of hate speech and had sentenced him to three years in prison.

He was then disqualified from the state Assembly and the Election Commission (EC) announced a by-election for the Rampur seat.

After the announcement of the bypolls, Khan moved the Supreme Court against the ECI, challenging the announcement of the bypoll when his appeal against his conviction was still pending with the Rampur court.

The Supreme Court then directed that the Additional Sessions Judge, Rampur before whom the appeal has been filed to pre-pone the hearing of the application. The Rampur Court then rejected Khan's application, after which the EC, noting that the judge "has not granted stay in the matter", issued a revised schedule.

In the by-election, Bharatiya Janata Party's Akash Saxena defeated Azam Khan's protege Asim Raja by over 30,000 votes.

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