Degree Row: Delhi Law Minister Was a Bonafide Student

New Delhi
Degree Row: Delhi Law Minister Was a Bonafide Student

Delhi Law minister Jitender Singh Tomar was a "bonafide student" for three years in a law college in Bihar and has completed his degree from there, the Delhi High Court was informed today.

The information was submitted to Justice Rajiv Shakdher by Tomar's counsel who also said that the college met the standards prescribed by the Bar Council of India and claimed that a writ petition challenging it was filed with "malafide intention to malign the good reputation" of the Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College in Munger.

"So far as information regarding respondent no.5 (Tomar) are concerned, the records reveals that Jitender Singh Tomar.. was a student of this college in LLB Part I, II, and III in the session 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1997-98 respectively," the affidavit filed by Institute's Principal said.

The content of the affidavit was made known to the court by senior advocate A S Chandhiok, appearing for Tomar, during hearing of his application seeking direction to Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) to provide him copy of the inquiry report against him and the material available with the Council.

Relying on college affidavit, Tomar's counsel claimed that the Law Minster was a bonafide student for three years.

Tomar's counsel alleged that BCD has not provided him copy of the inquiry report but forwarded it to the Delhi Police instead.

On hearing this, the court passed an order asking BCD to supply all relevant documents and the material on the basis of which the Council have proceeded against him, to Tomar.

It also asked the Minister to cooperate with the enquiry initiated by BCD.

During the hearing, senior advocate Chetan Sharma, who appeared for advocate Ripu Daman Singh Bhardwaj on whose complaint BCD issued notice to Tomar and sought his response, opposed Chandhiok's submission and said that "more time they (Law Minister) are given, they can cover the up the issue" relating to alleged fake law degree.

The college has further said "it is equally important to inform that the tabulation register prepared by the Tilak Manjhi Bhagalpur university in Bihar (to which the college is affiliated) also reveals that Tomar has passed LLB Part I, II and III after appearing in the university examination".

The Tilak Manjhi Bhagalpur University its enquiry report had earlier stated that the Law Minister's provisional certificate was "fabricated and does not exist in the institution's record".

The university had responded to a notice issued on a plea alleging that Tomar got himself enrolled as an advocate on the basis of a "false and bogus" graduation degree.

Initially, the charges against Tomar had been raised in a writ petition in the Delhi High Court in February this year by lawyer Santosh Kumar Sharma, alleging that the AAP leader's undergraduate degree from Awadh University was not genuine.

Subsequently, a complaint was filed before BCD seeking cancellation of Tomar's registration as an advocate and initiation of criminal proceedings against him.

Tomar's counsel had sought more time before BCD to file the "certified copies" of his degrees. The proceedings before BCD have now been adjourned for July 8.

The Bar Council, which is the disciplinary authority over lawyers practicing in Delhi under the Advocates Act, directed Tomar to submit the original copies of the certificates to the council by today and had decided to forward the inquiry to Delhi Police on the basis of prima facie evidence available.

Ten members of the 25-member Council had shot off a letter to its chairman K K Manan claiming that the decision to send a complaint to police regarding the alleged forgery was taken without their consent.

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