Telangana court acquits Owaisi's brother Akbaruddin in hate speech cases

Updated on Apr 14, 2022 05:20 AM IST

The court, however, advised Akbaruddin not to indulge in provocative speeches in the future keeping in view the national integrity. It also directed that no celebrations or processions by AIMIM workers should be held over the judgment, Azeem said.

Speaking to reporters at the metropolitan courts complex at Nampally, Akbaruddin’s lawyer M A Azeem said the court gave the AIMIM leader the benefit of doubt as evidence produced by the prosecution was not sufficient to prove the guilt. (ANI)
Speaking to reporters at the metropolitan courts complex at Nampally, Akbaruddin’s lawyer M A Azeem said the court gave the AIMIM leader the benefit of doubt as evidence produced by the prosecution was not sufficient to prove the guilt. (ANI)
By, Hyderabad

A special sessions court for MPs and MLAs here on Wednesday acquitted All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) lawmaker Akbaruddin Owaisi in two cases pertaining to alleged hate speeches in Nirmal and Nizamabad districts of Telangana in 2012.

Akbaruddin, younger brother of AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, represents Chandrayangutta assembly constituency in the old city of Hyderabad and is also the party’s floor leader in the Telangana legislative assembly.

Speaking to reporters at the metropolitan courts complex at Nampally, Akbaruddin’s lawyer M A Azeem said the court gave his client the benefit of doubt as evidence produced by the prosecution was not sufficient to prove the guilt.

“The report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) produced by the prosecution (to prove that the voice in the video clipping of the alleged hate speech was indeed that of Akbaruddin) was not corroborated by other evidence and the court cannot convict the accused based only on the FSL evidence,” Azeem said.

The court, however, advised Akbaruddin not to indulge in provocative speeches in the future keeping in view the national integrity. It also directed that no celebrations or processions by AIMIM workers should be held over the judgment, Azeem said.

One of the cases pertains to an alleged derogatory remark Akbaruddin made against Hindu gods on December 8, 2012 at Bodhan in Nizamabad district. The other relates to a speech he made at Nirmal town on December 22, 2012, wherein he allegedly threatened to balance the Hindu-Muslim population if the police forces were kept away for just 15 minutes.

Akbaruddin was arrested under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups of religion), 153-B (imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code in January 2013. He was also booked under section 156 (3)(police officer’s power to investigate cognizable case) of Criminal Procedure Code.

The AIMIM MLA was released from Adilabad District Jail on February 17, 2013 after he secured bail in both cases, after spending 40 days in jail.

Nirmal Police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) investigated and submitted its charge sheet in both cases in 2016. As many as 41 witnesses were examined in the Nizamabad case, whereas 33 people were examined in the Nirmal case. The arguments concluded on April 17 and while the final judgment was posted for April 12, it was later deferred to April 13.

Hailing the court’s verdict, Asaduddin tweeted: “Alhamdulilah Akbaruddin Owaisi has been acquitted by MP/MLA Special Court in two criminal cases against him for alleged hate speeches. Grateful to all for their prayers & support. Special thanks to Advocate Abdul Azeem sb & senior lawyers who provided their valuable assistance.”

Bharatiya Janata Party state president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar accused the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government of deliberately diluting the case of Akbaruddin by not producing strong evidence in court. He demanded that the government, if it is sincere, should go for an appeal against the trial court’s judgment.

“We are surprised at the way the court has struck down the case against the AIMIM floor leader. The entire world had watched his hate speech on television in which he said he would wipe out the Hindus if the police were kept away for 15 minutes. Yet, it is shocking that he was acquitted by the court,” Kumar said.

“...TRS has colluded with the AIMIM,” he added.

While TRS spokesperson Palla Rajeshwar Reddy could not be reached for a reaction, All India Congress Committee spokesman Dasoju Sravan refused to comment on the court’s judgment.

“But one thing I can say is that people in public life should refrain from making inflammatory comments for playing to the gallery, lest it becomes a precedent for others. There will be unrest in the society if people make such explosive comments and get away for lack of evidence,” Sravan said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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