SP leader Azmi's conviction in hate speech case suspended

In a relief for Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi ahead of next month's Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Sessions Court Tuesday suspended his conviction and two-year sentence in an alleged hate speech case.

Mumbai: In a relief for Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi ahead of next month's Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Sessions Court Tuesday suspended his conviction and two-year sentence in an alleged hate speech case.

The MLA was awarded two-year rigorous imprisonment by a local court in 2012 for allegedly delivering provocative speech to incite communal violence.

"The conviction of Abu Azmi has been suspended," his lawyer Sudeep Passbola told PTI.

The 59-year-old controversial politician's appeal against the guilty verdict is still pending in the Sessions Court, where it is likely to come up for hearing next month.

In May 2012, a court in Mazgoan had found Azmi and four others guilty of delivering inflammatory speeches and handed down two-year jail term each with hard labour.

The case dates back to February 2000, when during a rally, Azmi allegedly made incendiary speech at Byculla, Central Mumbai.

The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 11,000 each on the convicts, who were released on bail after the verdict.

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