Delhi minister Tomar's 'bogus' law degree: Why hasn’t 'clean' Kejriwal ordered a probe, asks Oppn
The party that promised clean, alternative politics is back with a fresh controversy, courtesy Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar who is adamant over his claim that he has a bona fide Degree in Law from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University.
New Delhi: The party that promised clean, alternative politics is back with a fresh controversy, courtesy Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar who is adamant over his claim that he has a bona fide Degree in Law from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University.
The 'bogus degree' issue of the Law minister has snowballed into a major political controversy, with the opposition parties demanding the minister’s sacking. While, Congress leader Ajay Maken said, “The minister should be sacked”, the state BJP staged a fierce demonstration on 29 April in front of Kejriwal’s residence, asking the latter to “send his minister to prison”.
Amidst sloganeering “Farzi Degree Ka Nahi Chalega Khel, Jitender Singh Tomar Ko Bhejo Jail (Game of fake degree can’t continue, send Tomar to jail)” the BJP workers burnt Tomar’s effigy.
“It’s shameful that the Kejriwal government that preached high morality and promised clean politics to the people of Delhi, is protecting a minister with a bogus degree. The BJP won’t let such ministers and MLAs involved in corrupt practices like land grabbing and patronising mafias to roam freely. We won’t allow Tomar to function in the government and, he should be immediately dismissed and arrested for forgery and filing false documents with his election nomination papers,” Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay told Firstpost.
The issue of Tomar’s ‘bogus degree’ is not new, rather it was the bone of contention during the ‘peace-talk’ between the two warring groups – Arvind Kejriwal’s team on one side and Prashant Bhushan-Yogendra Yadav duo on the other. When both Bhushan and Yadav were active members in AAP and were holding posts, they had raised the issue of Tomar’s ‘bogus degree and fake certificate’ and demanded an internal inquiry.
“There were three serious issues raised by Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav and they had demanded an inquiry – Tomar’s bogus degree case, four cheques worth Rs 2 crore and Rajesh Garg’s sting claiming that the AAP wanted to form government for the second time with the help of Congress MLAs,” alleged former National Executive member of AAP, Prof Ajit Jha.
“Despite having an internal Lokpal in the party, no inquiry has been initiated since 4 March. This reflects absolute non-seriousness on the part of AAP leadership. Why is Arvind Kejriwal silent over the issue? As the issue is already in public domain and has courted enough controversy damaging the image of AAP, the CM should ask Tomar for an explanation and justify his stand of retaining the minister to the people of Delhi,” Jha, now a Swaraj Abhiyan leader told Firstpost.
Meanwhile, the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has informed the High Court that it had suspended Tomar's licence, after Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Uttar Pradesh had admitted that Tomar's graduation degree was “totally fake”. The law minister had earlier mentioned that he did his B.Sc from the said university. In response, the Delhi HC has asked the BCD to file its inquiry report against Tomar by August 20.
Responding to BCD’s action, Tomar on 28 April said, “My degree is 100 percent genuine. I have all the documents to prove it, so I will not resign from the post.”
The Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University in its statement submitted in the Delhi High Court has mentioned that there was no record of Tomar’s law degree, and his provisional certificate was “fabricated and doesn’t exist in the university record”.
But, Tomar has found support from his own party. “The law minister is cooperating and will provide all relevant documents before the court when needed. As the matter is already sub-judice and next date of hearing is on August 20, it would be wise to wait till then,” an AAP spokesperson remarked.
Former AAP member, who had worked closely with Kejriwal for over a decade and secretary of Nyaybhoomi, Rakesh Agrawal justified, “It’s too early to say anything. There’s 50 percent chance that Tomar may be absolved from allegations, if he provides genuine documents. It might finally happen that nothing wrong is proved against him, as he’s claiming.”
Aman Singh, an IT professional sarcastically commented, “The case of Tomar’s fake law degree from a lesser-known Indian university seems relatively minor, in comparison to a Union Minister’s claim of acquiring a degree from an Ivy League university.”
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