Former minister Jitender Singh Tomar on Friday faced the prospect of expulsion from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders were unhappy about documents that he allegedly doctored to prove his educational degrees were genuine.
Tomar, who has been arrested by Delhi Police on the charge of faking his degrees, allegedly doctored a reply under the Right To Information (RTI) Act from a college in Uttar Pradesh to show he had completed his bachelor’s degree from there.
Sources said while the leadership was unhappy with the current turn of events, the party had decided to side it self from Tomar.
Earlier this week, Delhi Police took him to the RML Awadh University in Faizabad to verify his claim that he had passed his BSc from KS Saket College in the Uttar Pradesh town.
The 49-year-old allegedly submitted forged academic documents including mark sheets, a BSC degree, provisional documents and his law degree to the Delhi Bar Council in 2010.
According to police officials, he appeared clueless at the college in Faizabad and looked blank whenever he was asked any question on the institute's administrative block or canteen.
"Arvind Kejriwal is upset over how things have proceeded since his arrest. There is a strong voice in the party against Tomar. Further it has come to light that while Kejriwal had met Tomar when the controversy began and produced documents to support himself, they too might have been forged," said a senior leader of the party.
Sources in the party told HT that an internal inquiry by the party lokpal was also initiated by the AAP and a report was sought within two days.
On Friday, Tomar was taken to Vishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Studies at Munger in Bihar to verify his claim that he obtained his law degree from an institute there.
In April, Bihar's Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, from where Tomar claimed to have obtained his law degree, told a court that the provisional certificate was not "genuine" and didn’t exist in official records. A BJP leader has dragged Tomar to court on charges of lying in his election nomination papers, an accusation that may cost the AAP legislator his seat.
In a new twist to the controversy, Munger college principal RK Mishra, however, said Tomar may have passed the three-year LLB from the institute between 1994 and 1999.
“Records say that someone by the name of Jitender Singh Tomar took admission here. But whether this Jitender Singh Tomar is indeed the same person, we cannot ascertain because there is no photographic record,” he told CNN-IBN.
Mishra said it is not possible for the university to verify the degrees of past students unless there is an official complaint.
Other media reports quoted him as saying that Tomar's name appeared in the tabulation register sheet at serial number 10,136.
So far, the investigation has gone against Tomar with authorities at the Faizabad university telling police that the roll number and mark sheet he produced were fake.
Enquiries by Hindustan Times showed he was a student of Delhi's Rajdhani College during the same time and dropped out in the final year.
This means that going by Delhi University records, the Tri Nagar legislator was an undergraduate student at two different universities at the same time without taking a degree from either of them.