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Row over degree:Delhi Law Min to reply on BJP leader’s plea

Delhi high court

New Delhi:  The Delhi High Court today sought response from city’s Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar on a BJP leader’s plea seeking setting aside of his election from Tri Nagar assembly constituency over alleged wrong declaration of educational qualification in the nomination papers.

Justice Manmohan issued notice to the Minister directing him to file counter-affidavit before May 17 on the plea of BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg, who had fought the Assembly polls earlier this year against Tomar.

The court, meanwhile, has asked the authorities concerned to preserve all the documents filed during Assembly polls by Tomar, who contested from Aam Aadmi Party’s ticket, after Garg, the then candidate from BJP, contended that the Law Minister is presently an influential person and may destroy the documents from the custody of the poll panel.

The court notice was issued on Garg’s petition alleging Tomar’s election had been “materially affected by deliberate concealment, misrepresentation, wrong declaration and wilful suppression of the educational qualification in the affidavit filed along with the nomination form”.

“The respondent No 1 (Tomar), at the time of filing the nomination, and thereafter, has continued to misrepresent himself to be a law graduate and advocate and has thus been successful in exercising undue influence over the voters, which amounts to corrupt practice within the meaning of the Representation of the Peoples Act,” the plea, filed through advocates Laliet Kumar and Deepak Vohra, alleged.

The court of Justice Hima Kohli had recused from hearing the plea yesterday.

The issue of the validity of Tomar’s law degree is being scrutinised by the high court on a separate petition, filed in February, alleging he had taken admission into the LLB course at the Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College in Bihar on the basis of a “fake” degree.

The Bar Council of Delhi also recently issued notice to Tomar, on the basis of a reply filed by the Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad, UP, which had said that the undergraduate degree, marksheets and roll number submitted by Tomar at the time of his admission to the LLB course were “completely fake”.

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