The Supreme Court Tuesday turned down a plea filed by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan seeking interim bail for campaigning in the UP assembly polls.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai, however, granted liberty to Khan to approach the concerned court and request for expeditious disposal of bail pleas.
How can you file 32 petitions to seek bail? Don't bring politics in court, the bench said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Khan, submitted that 87 FIRs have been filed against the leader and he has got bail in 84 cases.
"I am inside prison for nothing. Where do I go my lord? I am not bringing any politics into it," he said.
Mr Sibal said the bail plea was not being taken up for the last 3-4 months despite repeated requests for hearing.
"I am at my wits end in this matter. 87 FIRs filed against me. I got bail in 84. We are here for an interim bail in four cases so that he can effectively contest the upcoming election," Mr Sibal said.
The Supreme Court said in its order, "Kapil Sibal, senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, submitted that FIRs are registered just before elections and most of them relate to events that occurred long back. The applications filed for bail are being adjourned and the petitioner is suffering in jail due to FIRs registered on false and frivolous grounds.
"The petitioner is at liberty to approach the concerned court and request for expeditious disposal of the bail applications. Needless to mention that the Court shall dispose of the bail applications expeditiously. The writ petition is dismissed," the bench said.
The plea filed by Khan contended that the State has adopted all means available to purposefully delay the proceedings so as to ensure that he is incarcerated during the UP Assembly elections, starting from February 10.
Khan is presently lodged in Sitapur jail in connection with a number of cases, including that of land grabbing, lodged against him in Rampur.