Give notice to UP minister Azam Khan: Supreme Court orders CBI

New Delhi, September 27: Supreme Court orders CBI to give notice to UP minister Azam Khan for calling the Bulandshahr gang-rapes a political conspiracy.

Azam Khan, the most senior minister in Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet, has run into more trouble with the Supreme Court today over his remarks about a woman and her teen daughter who were gang-raped on a major highway in Delhi in July, reports

Azam Khan, 68, will have to explain the grounds of his comments to the CBI. The comments were conflating the rape, which took place in Bulandshahr, with a “political conspiracy”, judges said. The SC had ordered to stop the investigation on the case last month. While it would determine if Azam Khan’s remarks violate the right to free speech.

The court said it will examine whether a person holding a public office can make such comments which can impact the “victim in distress” and affect fair probe and whether a statement like that “defeats constitutional sensitivity”.

The teen rape survivor, who was assaulted in fields near the highway with her mother, while men in their family were tied up by a gang of men, has said the Supreme Court must penalize Mr Khan for his comments and also monitor the investigation into her attack.  The minister’s stand, she has alleged, proves the state will not conduct an impartial inquiry.

Mr Khan’s self-defense has been centred on the argument that he “spoke like a politician”.

The rape and the alleged police inaction has been used by other parties to buttress their claim of rampant lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh just months before the state votes for its next government.