Delay in hearing the bail plea of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan in a land grab case is a "travesty of justice", the Supreme Court said on Friday, 6 May.
Khan has got bail in 86 out of 87 cases, said justices L Nageshwara Rao and BR Gavi and added that the matter would be heard on 11 May, news agency PTI reported.
"He (Khan) has been out on bail in all matters except one for so long, this is a travesty of justice. We will not say anything more. We will hear it on Wednesday, 4 May," the apex court said.
Allahabad High Court had on Thursday, 5 May, reserved its verdict on the bail application. The case pertains to the matter wherein Khan along with others are accused of grabbing a property for his Mohammad Ali Jauhar University project. This happened while he was serving as the university's chancellor.
The case was previously reserved by the high court on 4 December 2021. It was being heard again on Thursday, after the state government submitted a plea seeking permission to file fresh affidavits with new facts. The said affidavits were filed on the Thursday before the high court.
Police had filed an FIR against Khan and others for allegedly grabbing enemy property and misusing crores of public money. As per the FIR, following partition, 13.842 hectare land belonging to a man named Imamuddin Qureshi was grabbed by Khan and his associates after recording it as enemy property. The land grab allegedly happened after Qureshi went to Pakistan.
Khan has been in jail since February 2020, with close to 100 FIRs lodged against him.
The Supreme Court had in February this year turned down the plea by Azam Khan seeking interim bail for campaigning before the Uttar Pradesh elections and asked him to move the Allahabad High Court. The high court had granted him bail then.
In his plea, Khan, who is currently at Sitapur jail had accused the state of purposefully delaying proceedings against him so as to not allow him to campaign for the elections. The senior politician, however, had won the Rampur Assembly seat in Uttar's Pradesh by 55,141 votes after defeating the BJP's Akash Saxena.
(With inputs from PTI.)