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Delhi HC denies plea to withdraw 'bogus degree' claim against AAP law minister

The Delhi high court refused advocate Santosh Kumar Singh’s plea to withdraw his petition against Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar that Tomar’s advocate enrolment is based on a “false and bogus” graduation degree, reported PTI.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher said: "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", and issued "court notice" to Tomar, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University (UP) and Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College (Bihar) for 27 April.

The Bar Council of India (BCI), which was joined to the petition as a respondent by the court, asked the court for no interference with its investigation of Tomar if the court withdraws Sharma’s petition.

Justice Rajeev Shakdher, taking a serious view of allegations raised regarding the "fake and bogus" science degree of Tomar, issued notice to Tomar, the Bar Council of India, the Election Commission and the universities where he has claimed to have received his education.

The court refused to allow the petitioner, lawyer Santosh Kumar Sharma to withdraw the petition, after lawyers from the Bar Council of India appeared and argued that the matter was a serious issue and should not be allowed to be withdrawn.

According to the plea filed by Sharma, Tomar had placed a "fake" undergraduate degree from the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Uttar Pradesh to get enrolled as a student at Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Study College, Bihar.

It said that Tomar had then been enrolled as an advocate on the basis of the degree from Bishwanath Institute and he was not eligible to have studied law or to be enrolled as an advocate.

When Sharma on Friday sought to withdraw his plea, Justice Shakdher refused and issued a court notice to Tomar, the Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University and the Bishwanath Singh Institute to file their responses.

Meanwhile, advocates Ajay Burman and other members of the Bar appeared in court urging that Sharma be not allowed to withdraw the plea as the allegations were "serious" and that "judicial scrutiny of a person who is now a public figure should be conducted".

The bar members said the Avadh University, where Tomar had claimed to have obtained an undergraduate degree in science, had sent a reply to the Bar Council of Delhi, stating that it did not have any records of granting any degree to him.

Posting the matter for April 27, the judge said: "This is a curious petition." He also observed that the plea seemed to be a "tactic to pressurise people".

The Bar Council of Delhi also told the court that it had initiated an inquiry into the issue.

With IANS inputs

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