Police have arrested two people, including a school owner, on charges of issuing fake mark sheets and transfer certificates (TCs) that were used by candidates who contested the recently held panchayat polls in Rajasthan.
During a preliminary investigation, the accused admitted they had issued more than 200 mark sheets and TCs to candidates who contested polls to choose sarpanchs and panchayat samiti members across Rajasthan, police officials said.
It is suspected that that 27 candidates who used the fake documents had been elected. Police also suspect another 15 schools had issued fake TCs and mark sheets, officials said.
The state had in January introduced an ordinance to amend the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act and fix educational qualifications for candidates. The ordinance required candidates contesting zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls to have passed Class 10 and those contesting sarpanch elections to have passed Class 8.
Anshuman Bhomiya, the Superintendent of Police of Dausa district, said: “Since the panchayat polls we were receiving complaints about the use of fake mark sheets and TCs by candidates. During the probe, we were monitoring schools which had recently issued TCs and mark sheets.
“It was learnt that a school, Tagore Vidhya Mandir in Bandikui town of Dausa, had issued a large number of TCs. A raid was conducted and records, fake stamps, mark sheets and TCs were recovered.”
The school had closed down four years ago. After initially denying the charges, the school’s owner Shiv Kumar Tiwari accepted that it had issued TCs and mark sheets to more than 200 people who contested polls in Dausa, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Barmer and Alwar.
Tiwari and his associate Dal Chand told police that 27 candidates who obtained fake documents had been elected, including 15 from Dausa district.
“We are verifying the names of sarpanchs who won the polls and after that, necessary action will be taken. So far, 17 FIRs have been registered by people who stood second in the elections,” Bhomiya said.
Congress state unit president Sachin Pilot said the government had issued the ordinance hastily.
“The government did not look into possibilities and brought the ordinance in just 24 hours. The district collector has no agency to verify mark sheets. It is learnt that in Banswara and Dungarpur, around 1,500 fake mark sheets were issued,” he claimed.
There are around nine panchayats where there are no sarpanchs, Pilot said.