New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan to appear before the Allahabad High Court on March 8 to honour a bailable warrant issued against him due to his non-appearance in a case related to the state Jal Nigam, which he heads.
A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice S.K. Kaul also rejected the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader’s request that he would comply with the High Court’s order to appear before it after completion of the assembly elections on March 11.
“The High Court feels you (Khan) are hoodwinking it. It is asking you to appear but you are not appearing… Bailable warrant was issued, even then you did not appear… You go and tell the High Court whatever you want to explain,” said the bench noting that the court had sought Khan’s personal appearance on March 1 and 6.
The counsel of Khan told the court that the minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the U.P. Jal Nigam and that he had nothing to do with the case.
The High Court had ordered issuance of the warrant against Khan on a service petition filed by the Jal Nigam in 2013. The petition was filed challenging the judgement of the U.P. Public Services Tribunal in favour of Assistant Engineer D.K. Singh, against whom the Jal Nigam had initiated recovery proceedings for financial irregularities.
The court had sought Khan and other officers’ presence in the case. While the Jal Nigam’s Managing Director and the Chief Engineer had appeared in the court, Chairman Azam Khan never showed up.