New Delhi Aug 10(ILNS): The Supreme Court today granted bail to Samajwadi party leader Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan in a criminal forgery case and said that the problem of a Criminal Justice system is a systematic problem.
A bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “The investigation for the second offense has been completed and the charge sheet has been filed on August 27, 2020 and the trial court has taken cognizance for the offense, continuing detention of the appellants may not be necessary for the purpose of investigation.
The Court said that the appellant is being released on bail in connection with the offense, they must abide by all the conditions as imposed by the trial court for releasing them including not to influence the witnesses and tamper shreds of evidence.
The Court directed that the appeallants may be released on bail after the Trial Court concerned in the state of Uttar Pradesh records the informant’s statement in the case within four weeks.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared on behalf of the appellants and submitted, “there are 87 FIRs are being filed against them as if these people do not have anything else to do in Uttar Pradesh and interestingly, in 84 FIRs, bail has been granted by the court. Such multiplicity of FIR clearly shows that the allegations charged against are baseless.”
Additional Solicitor General Suryaprakash V Raju argued that the accused is a habitual offender and has committed forgery. Land worth millions or maybe billions or more rupees was encroached or grabbed by him.
The Supreme Court asked has he filed any discharged application in this FIR? to this ASG Raju replied in affirmative.
Justice AM Khanwilkar said there are number of issues where the date of birth is an issue pending before the Courts in India, at least till the 90s. Once the entire investigation is over then basically It a piece of documentary evidence. It’s one word against the other and there will be evidence from both sides. Keeping a person in custody when there is evidence from both sides, will it be fair? If there is something serious we certainly take note of it.
ASG- kindly look at his criminal antecedents and he is an influential person.
The Supreme Court said, “in this particular FIR the bail should be granted according to us.”
ASG- Statement of informant Akash Saxena should be recorded.
Kapil Sibal – he is a BJP leader and the same person is the informant in other matters.
ASG- yes I am saying he is the same person.
The Court said we will direct that the trial court should record the statement of the informant within four weeks.
Kapil Sibal interjected and submitted that he has already got the bail-in another matter. First, he got the bail-in passport matter, now they have lodged FIR in the PAN Card matter. I am only on the practice which they are following.
The Court said to Kapil Sibal, “we are not going to record any reasons, that will influence the discharge application.”
After hearing all the contentions, the bench held that “The investigation for the second offense has been completed and the charge sheet has been filed on August 27, 2020 and the trial court has taken cognizance for the offense, continuing detention of the appellants may not be necessary for the purpose of investigation. The appellant is being released on bail in connection with the offense, they must abide by all the conditions as imposed by the trial court for releasing them including not to influence the witnesses and tamper shreds of evidence. We direct the release the appellants to be released on bail, after the statement of the informant is recorded in the trial Court.”
The Apex court also stated that “The prosecution must make sure that the informant should be present in the court on August 16, when his statement will be recorded. He may proceed subject to an order to be passed on discharge application which we are informed that it is to be heard on August 11, 2021.
The Court directed that the recording of evidence should be completed within 4 weeks from today and compliance report be submitted to this court within the same time.”
“The appellant through counsel undertakes to extend full cooperation to the trial court for recording of evidence of informant within the specified time,” said the Apex Court.
The Special Leave Petition was filed challenging the order passed by Allahabad High Court wherein it had rejected three bail applications stating that it will not be in the public interest. The petition was filed by Senior SP Leader Md. Azam Khan and his disqualified U.P. MLA son who was arrested in the case of cheating, forgery, and obtaining a fake PAN card fraudulently for the latter.
The FIR has been filed under Section 420,467,468,471 and 120B of IPC and Section 12(1A) of Passport Act, 1967 at the Police Station, Civil Lines, district Rampur. The allegations are against the father-son duo of forging and fraudulently obtaining a PAN card and passport. It was submitted that the birth records as per the High school certificate and the nomination application filed for contesting 34 Swar Assembly Constituency, Rampur recording another date of birth, though, it is alleged that at the time of filing of nomination paper, the subsequent PAN was not linked with the bank account. It is alleged that the father-son duo conspired together in filing nomination papers by mentioning the wrong PAN./ILNS/KR/SNG