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AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi acquitted in hate speech cases

Hindustan hum 25 crore hain na (Muslims), tum 100 crore hain na (Hindus). Theek hain, tum to hamare se itne jyada ho. 15 minute ke liye police hata do dekh lenge kisme himmat hai aur kaun jyada takatwar hai: Akbaruddin Owaisi

All India Majlis-e-ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) floor leader and MLA, Akbaruddin Owaisi, was Wednesday acquitted of all charges against him regarding two hate speeches he gave in December 2012. The special sessions court for the trial of MPs/MLAs observed the pieces of evidence given by the prosecution were insufficient and provided Owaisi with the advantage of uncertainty.

However, the court directed Akbaruddin not to make any controversial speeches in the future to maintain national integrity. Akbaruddin was under trial for his alleged hate speeches delivered at Nizamabad and Nirmal in Telangana in December 2012.

During the consultation, the Chandrayangutta MLA had denied all charges levelled against him in cases enrolled at Nirmal town and Nizamabad region in 2013. Owaisi was charged under segments 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC.

The Nirmal police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID) investigated the two cases and submitted the charge sheet 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 the final judgement was posted for April 12 but was postponed to April 13.

“Only after going through the judgment copy can we know more. The FSL report, as per law, is only an opinion of an expert that can be used for corroboration to help the prosecution, but mainly a court cannot convict or acquit an accused based on FSL evidence,” MA Azeem, counsel for Akbar Owaisi.

The defence counsel also added that the eyewitnesses could not corroborate the prosecution’s argument. “There were two eyewitnesses in each case. They gave statements against the accused but the statements of those two are contradictory to each other. Moreover, these witnesses kept quiet for one month and did not lodge a report. Though the police registered a case a few days after the incident, these witnesses came to the police only after a month. Also, all the witnesses have political backgrounds and so they had inimical terms with the accused,” the council explained.

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