The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday opposed the bail plea of jailed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, and termed him as a "land grabber" and a "habitual offender".
Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao that he has allegedly threatened the investigating officer in the land grabbing case.
He is a land grabber. Private complaints have been filed against him .He is a habitual offender. Everything is forged by this person, the ASG told the bench also comprising Justices B R Gavai and A S Bopanna.
The ASG said Khan is seeking interim bail which cannot be granted.
There are cases against him which involve life imprisonment also. His antecedents must also be looked into as he is a habitual offender and a land grabber., he said, adding he might be a politician but he cannot get away from this.
The top court told the ASG that the state government cannot grant him bail in one case and put him in jail in another case.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Khan, submitted that as his client is in jail for two years, how can he threaten somebody.
Sibal contended that the state government cannot conduct itself in a "barbaric manner".
The apex court reserved its order after hearing the parties.
The court had earlier asked the state government to file its reply in the case. The top court had earlier expressed displeasure over the delay in hearing the bail application of Khan, saying this is a travesty of justice .
He (Khan) has been out on bail in all matters except one for so long, this is travesty of justice. We will not say anything more, the bench had said.
The counsel appearing for Khan had told the apex court that the high court has reserved its verdict on the bail application.
The Allahabad High Court on May 5 had reserved its order on the bail application of Khan in the case of grabbing of enemy property for his Mohammad Ali Jauhar University project.
An FIR was lodged against Khan and others for alleged grabbing of enemy property and misappropriation of public money of more than hundreds of crores of rupees. It was alleged in the FIR that during Partition one Imamuddin Qureshi went to Pakistan and his land was recorded as enemy property, but Khan in collusion with others grabbed the plot.
The FIR was lodged at the Azem Nagar police station in Rampur under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
The high court on December 4 last year had reserved its decision. However, the Uttar Pradesh government later submitted an application and sought permission to present some new facts through fresh affidavits, which were filed on Thursday.
Earlier, the apex court in February had refused interim bail to Khan for campaigning in the Uttar Pradesh elections and asked him to approach the court concerned for expeditious disposal.
The plea filed by Khan had contended that the State has adopted all means available to purposefully delay the proceedings so as to ensure that he is incarcerated during the recently held Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
Khan is presently lodged in Sitapur jail in connection with a number of cases, including that of land grabbing, lodged against him in Rampur.