Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was today acquitted by an Uttar Pradesh court in a 2019 hate speech case. The Rampur court overturned the verdict of a lower court which had found the Samajwadi leader guilty last year of of hate speech targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Samajwadi leader had accused the Prime Minister of creating an atmosphere in the country in which Muslims found it difficult to exist.
Following the 2022 verdict, Khan was disqualified as an MLA.
A government counsel in the case said the special court accepted the appeal filed against Khan’s sentence.
Khan’s counsel Vinod Sharma said, “We have been acquitted in the hate speech case. We are happy that we have got justice.” “Our contention that we had been framed in the case has been upheld by the court, and the judgement is in our favour,” Sharma added.
After Khan’s membership to the assembly was disqualified, a by-election was held in the Rampur Sadar seat. BJP candidate Akash Saxena defeated the SP’s Asim Raja, a close aide of Khan, in the polls.
Azam Khan has a strong following in Rampur and other parts of western Uttar Pradesh.
The Samajwadi leader faces 87 cases, with charges ranging from corruption and theft to land grab, filed since the BJP took power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.