Spelling more trouble for Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) has issued notice to him on a complaint alleging that he used forged and fabricated documents to enroll himself as an advocate.
Honorary secretary Puneet Mittal said the council was holding an independent inquiry due to the seriousness of the allegation. The council has asked Tomar to come up with an explanation by March 20.
The Delhi High Court had on Friday decided to scrutinise the authenticity of Tomar’s law degree even as the petitioner in the case sought to withdraw his petition that had made similar allegations.
Mittal said that the BCD initiated the inquiry after it received a complaint from advocate Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader seeking cancellation of his registration and initiation of criminal proceedings.
He said the complaint was filed after an RTI query to Dr Ram Manohar Lahia Avadh University, where Tomar had claimed to have obtained an undergraduate degree in science, revealed that it did not have any records of granting any degree to him.
The RTI reply, a copy of which is with HT, clearly says that Tomar’s degree, marksheet, and roll number are “completely fake”.
“The Bar is of the view that the allegations are prima facie serious. If Tomar fails to give plausible explanation on the issue, we might also register an FIR. However, future course of action will be taken after his appearance,” Mittal said.
The complaint received by the Bar said Tomar did not submit his provisional LLB degree nor his attendance certificate while enrolling as an advocate. It said non-submission of requisite documents “show that essential norms as framed by Bar Council of India (BCI) for enrollment purpose have not been complied with”.
If the allegations are found to be correct, Tomar will not only lose his licence to practice as an advocate but will also face charges of forgery.
If the degrees and certificates turn out to be fake and if Tomar had submitted the same set of documents with the Election Commission while filing his candidature he may lose his seat too.
In 2013, the Delhi High Court had said that a false affidavit by a candidate at the time of filing of nomination papers is a ground for setting aside his/her election.