Abdullah Khan has had three birth certificates and two DOBs
In the first part of this series, we looked at some background information on how the loopholes in the birth registration system are exploited in our country, and in the second part, we looked at some data to get a sense of the scale of this fraud. In this part, we will look at a specific case of the birth registration fraud. This is the story of how Mohd. Azam Khan, Member of Parliament from Rampur and a Samajwadi Party stalwart got a fraudulent birth registration done for his son Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan.
Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan contested the UP State Legislative Assembly from Rampur Constituency in early 2017 on the Samajwadi Party ticket. At that time he was not 25 years of age and hence ineligible to contest. Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, who was his opponent on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket, filed an objection before the returning office but it was rejected. In the election that followed, Abdullah Khan was declared elected. Nawab Khan filed an Election Petition 8/2017 to set aside Abdullah Khan’s election, and this petition was allowed by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court on Dec 16, 2017, thereby setting aside Abdullah Khan’s election. This judgment has been included below in this article.
The Rampur Nagar Palika Parishad could not produce the documents pertaining to this birth registration and its cancellation and claimed that all the documents pertaining to this birth registration got destroyed in a fire on May 08, 2015.
Abdullah Khan conspired with his father Mohd. Azam Khan and mother Dr. Tazeen Fatima, to get himself a fraudulent birth certificate from the Lucknow Nagar Nigam with a wrong date of birth that showed him to be above 25 years of age at the time of elections, whereas he already had a birth certificate from the Rampur Nagar Palika Parishad and a class X passing certificate from the CBSE which had a different date of birth (and which made him ineligible for contesting the election). It is absolutely worth mentioning that Abdullah Khan’s father Azam Khan was at that time the MLA and Cabinet Minister (Urban Planning, Development and Local Bodies) in the Uttar Pradesh Government during the years 2012 to 2017. The municipal corporations that are responsible for birth registration come under this ministry.
The proceeding of this election petition has established that Abdullah Khan has had three birth certificates and two DOBs:
1. CBSE Class X Passing Certificate
In 2007, CBSE issued a class X passing certificate to Abdullah Khan. This certificate has DOB as Jan 01, 1993. Abdullah Khan, on Mar 23, 2015, requested CBSE to change the DOB but it was not accepted. Readers would surely know that CBSE class X passing certificate is considered to be the ultimate proof of date of birth.
2. Rampur Birth Certificate
On Jun 28, 2012, Nagar Palika Parishad, Rampur issued a birth certificate RNPB2012-03857 for Abdullah Khan. This birth certificate had DOB Jan 01, 1993, i.e. same as the CBSE certificate, and place of birth as Rampur. This is a case of delayed birth registration, and it is not clear why he got this birth registration done when he already had the CBSE certificate. Perhaps it was for his passport application.
Abdullah Khan got this birth registration cancelled on Jan 30, 2015. This is extremely odd as the cancellation of birth registration is not easy and is rarely done – only in case, a clerical error is clearly established. The Rampur Nagar Palika Parishad could not produce the documents pertaining to this birth registration and its cancellation and claimed that all the documents pertaining to this birth registration got destroyed in a fire on May 08, 2015. How convenient! All documents pertaining to birth registration, especially delayed birth registration are permanent records as per law, and destruction of these is an offence.
It was not just the Lucknow Nagar Nigam which manipulated its birth registration records, even the Queen Mary’s Hospital was not far behind in doing so.
3. Lucknow Birth Certificate
Since as per the DOB in the CBSE and Rampur certificates, Abdullah Khan’s age was not above 25 years at the time of the assembly elections in 2017, his mother got another birth certificate NNLKO–B-2015292611 issued by Lucknow Nagar Nigam on Jan 21, 2015, with DOB as Sep 30, 1990, and place of birth as Queen Mary’s Hospital, Lucknow. This is also a case of delayed birth registration, done almost 25 years after the alleged birth, and made Abdullah Khan “eligible” to contest elections in 2017.
Interestingly, the Lucknow Nagar Nigam’s record shows that while this birth was registered on Jan 21, 2015, it received the information of this birth only in the month of April of 2015. Normally, judges do not include copies of the evidence in the judgments, but in this matter, the Hon’ble Court has decided to include some of the evidential artifacts in the order passed in the election petition. Interested readers can see Abdullah Khan’s mother’s (Dr. Tazeen Fatima) application and affidavit for this delayed birth registration on Pg 25 & 26 of the order. It is clearly evident how superficial the whole process of delayed birth registration is. Surprisingly the application is to the Nagar Swasthya Adhikari of the Lucknow Nagar Nigam and not the concerned SDM who is empowered to pass a delayed birth registration order.
In the para 27, the Hon’ble Court has made scathing observations on the laxity of the birth registrar of the Lucknow Nagar Nigam in maintaining the birth register:
27. The D.W-2 Dr. Archana Diwedi, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Lucknow produced a birth register which is neither authenticated nor certified by any competent Officer nor paginated. In her cross-examination, she stated that the birth register is maintained by a clerk which is not in the prescribed form as provided in the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969. She stated that the list of Queen Mary’s Hospital on the basis of which entry of the respondent’s birth has been made in the birth register is not available. She stated that the birth of the respondent was registered on Jan 21, 2015.
The extracts of the birth register are on Pg 28 & 29. The Hon’ble Court has noticed the tampering of the birth register in para 28:
28. The entry made in the aforesaid birth register of Nagar Nigam, Lucknow (Ex. R-12 – paper No. A 96/4-5) is a clear case of manipulation and interpolation. The entry of the respondent’s birth has been inserted in the very little space at the bottom of the page showing it to have been made on Sep 30, 1990, mentioning the name of the respondent Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan as “HINDU“ male baby of Mrs. Tazeen Fatima, wife of Mohd. Azam Khan. Just one entry above the aforesaid entry of the respondent is the entry in the name of one Sangeeta wife of Pankaj Gupta which as per endorsement of some officer, was made on Jun 25, 1993. Above the aforesaid entry dated Jun 25, 1993, is another entry in the name of one Vandana wife of R.N. Srivastava, made on Jul 24, 1992. The entries subsequent to the entry of the respondent’s birth, appearing on the next page are the entries dated Oct 02, 1990, Oct 03, 1990, Sep 26, 1990, and Sep 27, 1990. The entries of the respondent’s birth made in the aforesaid alleged birth register do not bear signature or order of any authority of the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow, or a Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Thus, the entry in the aforesaid birth register in the name of the respondent was not made on Sep 30, 1990.
While the birth register records claim that Abdullah Khan’s birth entry was made in the register on Sep 30, 1990, his mother, in her affidavit dated Jan 17, 2015, has stated that the correctness of the birth of her son Abdullah Khan (DOB Sept 30, 1990) may be verified from the Queen Mary’s Hospital. If Lucknow Nagar Nigam’s birth register already had an entry for this birth then why did she suggest verification from the hospital when the Lucknow Nagar Nigam could have done so based on its own records?
This Lucknow birth registration was also done without following the law and rules for delayed birth registration (as has been explained in the earlier part) and that in itself makes this registration illegal and void. Specifically, it is mandatory for such delayed registrations to be done only after an order from the SDM, but in this case, no order was passed by the SDM. The Hon’ble Court has stated in para 37:
37. Thus, the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow, was having no jurisdiction to register the birth of the respondent after 25 years of the alleged birth and to issue a birth certificate of the respondent dated Jan 21, 2015 (Ex. R-12) without an order of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate under Section 13(3) of the Act, 1969 read with Rule 9(3) of the U.P. Rules, 2002 and on payment of prescribed late fees but the aforesaid birth was registered and the birth certificate was issued without any order of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Therefore, the aforesaid birth certificate of the respondent dated Jan 21, 2015 (Ex.P-2-Paper No.A-63/1) issued by the Registrar (Birth & Death), Nagar Nigam, Lucknow, registering Sep 30, 1990, as the birth of the respondent is null and void. Apart from this, the entries of birth of respondent in the aforesaid birth register are the result of manipulation. Therefore, it is a nullity and liable to be ignored.
It was not just the Lucknow Nagar Nigam which manipulated its birth registration records, even the Queen Mary’s Hospital (part of the prestigious King George Medical University) was not far behind in doing so. We will not go into the details in this part but the interested reader could refer to the paras 38 – 47 of the order.
The Azam Khan family has been charge-sheeted in this matter, and after initially having avoided arrest and been declared absconders, they have finally surrendered before the Court.
This Lucknow birth certificate was also used to obtain an Aadhaar card, voter id, and driving license. Furthermore, Abdullah Khan got two passports with DOB Jan 01, 1993, and applied for the third with DOB Sep 30, 1990:
- F8757022, dated Aug 28, 2006, DOB Jan 01, 1993
- K-7951741 dated Jul 13, 2012, DOB Jan 01, 1993 (travelled with this passport)
- Application for a passport dated Jan 10, 2018, DOB Sep 30, 1990, and birthplace Lucknow
This birth registration fraud was done by people in power. But, as we saw in the previous part the prevalence of this sort of fraud is very high in our country, with the commonest of citizens able to do so with a grand of cash.
In the future parts, we will see that our law enforcement agencies have been very lax in curbing such fraud. Fortunately, in this matter, some action has been taken and the Hon’ble Court undid the illegitimate benefit obtained due to this fraud by disqualifying Abdullah Khan as an MLA. Additionally, Mr. Akash Saxena, who is a BJP leader from Rampur, has been admirably chasing this crime since early 2019 and has gotten an FIR registered against Azam Khan, Tazeen Fatima and Abdullah Khan under the sections of IPC pertaining to cheating and forgery for getting multiple fraudulent birth certificates, and then using them to obtain other government documents (e.g. passport, Aadhaar card, PAN card, driving license, voter id card) and visit foreign countries. The Azam Khan family has been charge-sheeted in this matter, and after initially having avoided arrest and been declared absconders, they have finally surrendered before the Court. They are behind bars, and their bail and quash applications have been rejected.
The process of law has moved reasonably fast in this matter, relative to what is the norm in our country. However, even in this matter, no investigation has been initiated against the corrupt officers of the municipal corporations and the hospitals, who are equally culpable, as is evident from the proceedings of the election petition.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, wife and son sent to judicial custody in forgery case – Feb 26, 2020, Scroll.in