Row over degree: Delhi HC disallows withdrawal of plea against Tomar

Delhi High Court today disallowed withdrawal of a plea against Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar which alleged that he had enrolled himself as an advocate on basis of a "false and bogus" graduation degree.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 13, 2015, 14:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today disallowed withdrawal of a plea against Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar which alleged that he had enrolled himself as an advocate on basis of a "false and bogus" graduation degree.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher declined the request made by petitioner Santosh Kumar Sharma, who had approached the court last month alleging that Tomar was not a science graduate from Avadh University, as he has claimed, and said this needs consideration.

The judge, meanwhile, issued "court notice" to Tomar, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University (UP) and Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College (Bihar) for April 27 and said "this is a curious petition filed by Sharma, who should have not approached here."

"I am surprised that an advocate (Sharma) has filed the petition and now he wants to withdraw it. These are all tactics to pressurise people. It's sad that you (Sharma) come like this," the judge said, adding the respondents need to make their stand clear.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), who were roped in as respondents in the plea, appeared in court on the notice issued to them on February 4.

Meanwhile, the Bar members, who wanted to be impleaded as a party in the petition, informed the court that they have received information from Avadh University that Tomar's graduation degree is allegedly "fake".

The counsel for BCI informed the court that if it allows withdrawal of the petition, it should not come in their way if they investigate the law minister.

The court notices were issued after Sharma moved an application seeking withdrawal of the petition on the ground that in regard to the allegation he levelled against the law minister, a remedy is also available with the BCD.

However, a group of lawyers, claiming themselves to be members of the Bar, represented by advocate Ajay Burman and Ajay Digpaul, opposed Sharma's withdrawal plea saying it's a serious allegation and the respondents, including Election Commission of India should be asked for their replies.

Burman further said "judicial scrutiny of a person who is now a public figure should be conducted".
On February 4, few days before Delhi Assembly Elections, the high court had sought responses of BCI, ECI, Universities and Tomar, the then AAP candidate for the polls from Tri Nagar constituency, on a plea alleging that he got himself enrolled as an advocate on the basis of a "false and bogus" graduation degree, on Sharma's plea.