The Supreme Court on Tuesday said bail can be granted to senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and his son Mohammad Abdullah, in a case of alleged cheating and forgery of documents by them for getting a second PAN card. The top court noted that the duo can be released on bail, subject to the trial court examining the complainant within two weeks.
A bench comprising justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna noted that charge sheet has already been filed in the case, which relates to mostly documentary evidence. The bench added that bail may be granted to the duo after trial court records the statement within two weeks.
It has been alleged that Azam Khan helped his then minor son procure a second PAN card using forged documents to show wrong date of birth, which would enable him to contest the 2017 assembly elections from Suar constituency in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
Objecting to the bail, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, argued they both are habitual offenders in connection with forgery. Raju added there are 87 FIRs lodged against them including one of land grabbing of enemy property, obtained by forging documents, which is worth millions of rupees.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Azam Khan, argued that investigation is complete, and the trial court has taken cognizance of the charge sheet, therefore he cannot be kept in custody. He added Khan got bail in all the cases and therefore he should be granted bail in this case also.
Opposing bail for Azam, Raju said Azam Khan has the capacity to influence witnesses and he has been influencing the witnesses even from the hospital in various cases.
The Allahabad High Court in November last year, declined to entertain bail pleas of the father-son duo. They moved the top court challenging this order. A case was registered against them in 2019.