The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ordered the Election Commission to hold bypolls on Swar assembly seat in Rampur district. The order by the division bench of Justice Shashikant Gupta and Justice Pankaj Bhatia came on a petition filed by Shafiq Ahmed, a former chairman of Nagar Palika Parishad of Swar tehsil, who sought a direction to conduct bypolls on Swar seat.
The Swar assembly seat went vacant after Samajwadi Party leader Abdullah Azam was found guilty by the Allahabad High Court for submitting a forged birth certificate to the poll body to contest elections.
Since the High Court has paved way for holding assembly polls on Swar assembly seat, notification on the same by the Election Commission is expected to be issued within a week. The by-elections on seven state assembly seats have already been announced by the ECI.
Meanwhile, the court has also turned down the plea filed by the Election Commission, which said that they cannot go ahead with the bypolls since Abdullah Azam’s forged birth certificate is still pending in the Supreme Court.
Abdullah Azam, son of Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, was elected as an MLA from Swar seat in 2017. He was accused of contesting elections on the basis of a forged birth certificate. The Allahabad High Court had held his election invalid in December 2019 after the allegations were found true. The Assembly Secretariat had issued a notification dismissing his membership.
Abdullah is currently lodged in Sitapur jail. However, speculations are on rife that the Samajwadi Party may field Abdullah Azam again from the Swar assembly seat for upcoming bypolls.
A letter was recently written to the President of India to bar Abdullah Azam for contesting polls on behalf of the UP Legislative Secretariat.
The letter says that Abdullah Azam should be barred from contesting the polls under Section 8-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, if convicted of corrupt conduct.