Fake degree case: Delhi HC asks Bar Council of Delhi to file report in Tomar case
The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) to file its report on steps it has taken on a complaint against ex-law minister Jitender Singh Tomar seeking probe into his alleged fake law degree case.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) to file its report on steps it has taken on a complaint against ex-law minister Jitender Singh Tomar seeking probe into his alleged fake law degree case.
"You (BCD) file your status report with regard to the investigation you carried out against respondent no. 5 (Tomar) and the steps you have taken," Justice VP Vaish said.
The court asked the law body to reply, after AAP MLA Tomar sought closing of the plea against him on the ground that a criminal case has already been registered against him and he was facing prosecution.
Tomar moved an application praying that the petition by Santosh Kumar Sharma does not survive as the issue was being probed by the police now.
To this, senior advocate KK Manan, appearing for BCD, told the court that after Tomar failed to file his response to the allegation levelled in a complaint by an advocate, they have sent a complaint to the police.
Manan also contended that the AAP leader has not furnished details with regard to his degree. So after granting him ample opportunity, they have handed over the case to the police, he said.
Manan also informed the court that BCD has set up a committee to look into the allegation of fake degree.
BCD also said that the petition before the high court can be closed as the police is already looking into the matter.
The court then asked BCD to file an affidavit on the steps it has taken instead of making an oral statement.
The court has now fixed the matter for October 28, by when BCD has to give its report. It will also consider on that day the application filed by Tomar seeking closure of the case.
Advocate Raj Shekhar Rao, the amicus curiae assisting the court, also contended that this petition does not survive as action has already been taken and criminal proceedings are pending against the AAP MLA.
Tomar, MLA from Trinagar, was arrested in the morning of June 9 following an investigation into a complaint by BCD that he had obtained a fake law degree from Bihar college. Presently Tomar is on bail.
An FIR was registered against Tomar on June 8 at Hauz Khas police station here and he was booked for alleged offences of cheating, forgery, using forged documents as genuine, forgery with intent to cheat and criminal conspiracy.
Earlier, the Bihar-based university where Tomar claimed to have studied law, had informed the court that the MLA's provisional certificate was "fabricated and does not exist in the institution's record".
Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur university in Bihar had placed before the court its enquiry report stating that the serial number of the provisional certificate in the record showed the name of some other person and not that of Tomar.
The university was responding to the notice issued to it on a plea alleging that Tomar got himself enrolled as an advocate on the basis of a false and bogus graduation degree.
The court had also sought reply from the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University (UP), from where the law minister said he had graduated in science.
The bar members of Delhi, who wanted to be impleaded as a party in the petition, had informed the court that they have received information from Avadh University that Tomar's graduation degree was also "fake".
The amicus curiae was appointed in the matter, after the court found that the petitioner Satosh Sharma did not turn up in his case. The court had also issued notice to Sharma directing him to appear on the next date of hearing.
On 4 February, few days before Delhi Assembly Elections, the high court had sought responses of Election Commission of India (ECI), Universities and Tomar, the then AAP candidate for the polls from Tri Nagar constituency, on a plea alleging that he got himself enrolled as an advocate on the basis of a "false and bogus" graduation degree, on Sharma's plea.
Sharma's petition had alleged that the Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College, Munger in Bihar, from where Tomar claims to have studied law, does not meet the standards prescribed by the Bar Council of India.
He sought initiation of action against Tomar "for filing bogus graduation degree while seeking enrolment with BCD".
Sharma had said he had filed a RTI application in Awadh University regarding Tomar's degree and a response was received that the AAP candidate was not granted a science degree.
He had also alleged that Tomar had falsely declared on affidavit that he was a practising advocate while filing his nomination with the poll panel for the 2015 assembly elections in Delhi and sought directions to the Election Commission to take action against the AAP candidate.
The petition has sought directions to Bar Council of Delhi to cancel Tomar's enrolment as an advocate.