The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by Rampur MLA Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan challenging the Allahabad High Court ruling setting aside his election as Member of Legislative Assembly in Suar, District Rampur constituency.

The bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice BV Nagarathna dismissed the plea filed by senior SP leader Azam Khan's son in separate but concurring judgments for not having attained the age of 25 years on the date of the election.

"I am convinced that it was only for the purpose of contesting the assembly elections which were held in the year 2017 and being conscious of the fact that he could not do so as he was disqualified on account of being under aged, he took steps to alter his date of birth to 30.09.1990 and made attempts to seek "duplicate" birth certificates from the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow and Queen Mary's Hospital, Lucknow.", Justice BV Nagarathna observed.

Justice BV Nagarathna held that "I am of the view that the appellant­successful candidate was not born on 30.09.1990 and was not twenty ­five years old at the time of filing the nomination as the appellant has been unable to prove the said fact despite the voluminous oral and documentary evidence provided on record."

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the appellant whereas Advocate Aadil Singh Boparai appeared for the respondent.

In this case, Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan-appellant had filed his nomination on January 2017, to contest the elections, from 34-­Suar Constituency, District Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.

Subsequently, the election petitioner, namely, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, filed an objection before the Returning Officer, challenging Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan's nomination on the ground that he had not attained the age of twenty­five years at the time of filing his nomination and was therefore, ineligible to contest the election in view of Article 173(b) of the Constitution of India.

However, the objection was rejected. The election was held as scheduled and the appellant was declared as the successful candidate in the election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

In the above background, the election petitioner approached Allahabad High Court, seeking a declaration that the election of the appellant to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly be declared as null and void, for non­compliance of the requirements of Article 173(b) of the Constitution of India. The said prayer was allowed by the High Court and the election of the appellant was set aside.

Aggrieved, the appellant approached Supreme Court.

The Court observed that from the evidence on record, the election petitioner was able to establish from the documentary evidence which belongs to the appellant that consistently from day one he has shown his date of birth as January 1, 1993 not only in his academic record but also in the birth certificate obtained by him by Nagar Palika, Rampur.

The Court noted that a duplicate birth certificate was obtained from Queen Mary's Hospital, Lucknow in April, 2015.

The Court observed that "In the instant case, the date of birth of the appellant throughout in his records is 1st January, 1993 and only in the year 2015 when the appellant became keen to enter into active politics, the mother of the appellant (DW­5) submitted an application for the first time on 17th January, 2015, claiming that the appellant was born on 30th September 1990, and birth certificate may be immediately issued to her and within three days, birth certificate was issued by the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow on 21st January, 2015."

The Court further noted that "…the documentary evidence which the appellant has placed on record obtained from the Queen Mary's Hospital, Lucknow, as a foundation on which the birth certificate has been issued as alleged from the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow, in our considered view, no probative value could have been attached to it."

The Court also observed that Class X and Class XII Certificate which indicate the date of birth of the appellant as January 1, 1993 even till date, are also in consonance with the earlier passports and visa documents produced by the respondent­election petitioner herein.

Thus the Court held that the High Court had examined the documentary and the oral evidence available on record in extenso and no manifest error was committed by the High Court in passing the impugned judgment.

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

Cause Title- Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan v. Nawab Kazim Ali Khan

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