Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was on Tuesday arrested on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree, a development that immediately triggered a strong attack by the ruling AAP against Centre calling it political vendetta.
The police arrested the 49-year-old AAP leader from his house on Tuesday morning and took him to Vasant Vihar police station for further questioning. Tomar was arrested on the basis of a criminal complaint filed by the Bar Council of India, according to CNN-IBN. Times Now reported that an FIR had been filed against Tomar at 3.30 am on Tuesday.
The high court had issued notices to Tomar, the Bar council of India (BCI) and the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) on the plea filed by advocate Santosh Kumar Sharma. In his plea, Sharma claimed that Tomar had submitted a “fake and bogus” undergraduate degree in science from Avadh University to get enrolled in the Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Studies College. He was enrolled as a lawyer by the BCD on the basis of a law degree from this college.
The decision of the BCD caused rifts in the 25 member panel of the DBC, with some lawyers opposing the move as they sided with the law minister against the decision to approach the Police. The AAP MLA has not filed any formal written replies before the BCD or the Delhi High court so far, though his advocates have appeared and sought time to “file certified copies.’ According to BCD sources, Tomar had been asked to file the original certificates in his possession as it would take too much time to get certified copies from the Universities concerned.
Interestingly, the BSILS College filed an affidavit before the Delhi High court claiming that Tomar had been a bonafide LLB student though he had completed his LLB in four years and not three years. In contrast, the Tilka Manjhi University, which is the affiliating university for the Law college, has said that the roll numbers given by Tomar do not match their records. The Bar council had on May 27, directed Tomar to file the original certificates and degrees before the BCD for verification. According to BCD sources, Tomar has not yet shown the original documents to the BCD.
According to sources, the May 9 written complaint by the BCD sent to the DCP South district could have been registered as an FIR, though the BCD has not been given any information by the police on the status of the investigation so far. The hearing before the BCD is scheduled for July 7, while the High court had set the date to examine the matter on July 16.