The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to Aley Hasan Khan, a former police circle officer, in all 26 cases filed against him in Rampur. These cases alleged that Khan, along with former minister Azam Khan, was involved in the illegal acquisition of land for Mohammad Ali Jauhar University. The allegations in the FIRs suggested that the duo had used threats and coercion to force landowners (farmers) into signing sale deeds in favor of the university. It was further claimed that they had intimidated these landowners with false charges, detained them in custody for a day, and forcibly seized their land.

A Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh noted, “It was also shown that main co-accused Mohd. Azam Khan, who is founder / trustee of the said Trust, has already been granted bail. Applicant is languishing in jail since 07.05.2023 and that investigation of all the cases is complete and charge-sheets have already been submitted in the court.”

The cases were interconnected and shared similar charges, and they were all under the jurisdiction of the same police station in District Rampur.

Advocate Imran Ullah appeared for the Applicant and Advocate P.K. Giri appeared for the Respondent.

Applicant’s legal representative had previously argued that the FIRs were filed several years after the fact and suggested they were politically motivated. The counsel pointed out that Khan retired from service on June 30, 2017, and soon after his retirement, multiple cases were registered against him within two months, seemingly influenced by the ruling party of the state.

The Court referred to several important principles related to granting bail. It emphasized that when considering bail applications, the court must carefully examine the merits and evidence on record and determine whether a prima facie case is established against the accused. The seriousness and gravity of the crime are also crucial considerations.

The Court underscored that while granting bail, the court need not conduct a detailed analysis of the evidence, as that can be done during the trial. Instead, the court should focus on specific factors such as the accused's prima facie involvement in the offense, the nature and gravity of the charge, the severity of potential punishment, and the character and standing of the accused.

The Court further observed, “The first information reports of all the cases have been lodged after a delay of about 14-15 years. In the first information reports, no date, time or place of the alleged incidents have been mentioned. There is no injury report of any of the complainant. As per version of the complainants, their lands were forcibly taken inside the campus of the said university by constructing a four-wall. It was stated that many of the complainants have executed sale-deeds in favour of the said university after receiving due consideration. It was shown from the side of applicant-accused that some of the complainants were not even not entitled to transfer the alleged pieces of lands, regarding which they have lodged the cases, and that land of some of the complainants are outside the boundaries of the university. There is no such allegation that applicant is in possession of any of the disputed piece of land of any of complainant. No sale deed has been executed in favour of the applicant-accused.”

The Court found that a case for bail was established and granted bail to the applicant.

Cause Title: Ex C.O. Aley Hasan Khan v. State of U.P., [2023:AHC:178214]

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