Ex Law Minister of AAP in Delhi, Jitender Singh Tomar has been in the eye of a storm for some time now. It has been alleged that his educational degrees are fake and hence he is in fact not a lawyer, which he claims to be. The confusion in this case arises from the fact that there are multiple degrees, names of multiple educational institutions, and it is not a clear-cut case of all his degrees being fake. Hence we would like to clarify the current situation, based on data available as of now.
Firstly, let us see what Tomar claimed to be his qualification. In both his affidavits, in 2013 and in 2015, he claims to have a LLB degree from Tilkamanjhi Bhagalpur University, from the year 1999. He does not mention his graduation degree, Bachelor in Science from the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad and one of its affiliated institutes, the KS Saket Postgraduate College in Ayodhya, probably because the LLB supersedes the BSc degree.
Tomar’s problems first began in April 2015 when the Avadh University and Ayodhya college, in reply to an RTI declared that Tomar had a fake BSc degree and they did not issue any such degree. This was corroborated by the police in their investigation last week. When they took Tomar to his college in Ayodhya, he could not identify his college building, the classrooms, examination department, canteen or the administrative office. Thus it was crystal clear that Tomar had faked his BSc degree.
In fact, a case was filed on Tomar by a lawyer, based on this itself. In April 2015 when the RTI reply said his BSc degree was fake, a lawyer filed a case based on this, saying since this degree was fake, his LLB degree was also null and void, and hence he was fraudulently practicing as a lawyer. Based on this information, even the Bar Council had suspended Tomar’s license in May 2015.
Coming to verification of his LLB degree, Tomar claimed to have got it from a law college called Bishwanath Singh Institute of Legal Studies College (BSILSC) Munger, affiliated to the Tilak Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU) in Bihar. And this is where the confusion starts.
First we see what the TMB University has to say. TMBU, in an affidavit in court, had said that “As per records, the provisional certificate with serial number 3687 was issued on July 29, 1999 to Sanjay Kumar Chaudhary for BA (honours) in political science. The certificate in Jitender Tomar’s name is a fabricated document and does not exist in the university’s records“. This was before Tomar’s arrest.
On June 12, when Tomar was taken to above TMBU for questioning, he was greeted with rotten eggs and ink by the varsity students, for maligning their college’s name. As per this Hindustan Times report, the police scrutinized various documents at the University to check the veracity of Tomar’s degree. The report however does not make clear what the finding were. But TMBU’s stand in the court continues to be that the LLB degree is fake.
Next, Tomar was taken to his college, BSILS in Munger. 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. The Hindustan Times report mentioned above, says that here Tomar said that he would come to college only to appear for exams, and the dates were informed to him by the brother of a lawyer friend. The police checked the documents here too, and as per the HT report, failed to locate Tomar’s admission form at BSILS.
The next twist comes from a PTI news report, which was published in many news portals. PTI claims, it has confirmed via sources that Officials present during the questioning of Tomar, said on condition of anonymity that college registers revealed that the former minister had enrolled in BSILS under roll number 10136 in 1994-95 session. He appeared for the law exam in 1998-99 and got his degree.
So the college from where Tomar answered the exam says he passed the LLB exam, but the University which should be issuing the degree says no such degree was issued and the degree shown by Tomar is fake. This discrepancy can perhaps be explained by the fact that in its report to the court, the University, had said that BSILS college had lost its affiliation with the University since 1990.
What further complicates matters is that, as per this news report, AAP itself has given up on Tomar. The report says AAP has withdrawn legal support to Tomar, after it found out that the photocopy of the RTI document which Tomar showed AAP supremo Kejriwal, to prove his degree, also turned out to be fake.
1. Tomar’s BSc degree was declared fake by both his alleged college, and University in a court affidavit. This was corroborated by police verification.
2. Based on this fake degree, Tomar allegedly took admission in one BSILS college, which was supposed to be under TMB University.
3. BSILS college in its court affidavit claims the degree is genuine and that Tomar was a student. A Hindustan Times report says, on investigation it was found that Tomar’s admission form was unavailable and Tomar claims to have visited the college only for exams. A PTI report claims that Tomar did enroll in the college, and passed their exam in 1998-99
4. The TMB University, which is said to be affiliated to BSILS college claimed in its Affidavit that the degree was fake. There is no information about the police findings here. TMBU also claims BSILS college lost affiliation in 1990 itself, which may explain the discrepancy between college and university records.
5. AAP also seems to be convinced that Tomar has no case, and says the RTI which Tomar showed them was fake.
Conclusion: At this stage, based on information available, its pretty sure Tomar’s BSc degree is fake. The college says the LLB degree is genuine, but University says it is fake. Also, it is important to note that since the BSc degree is fake, and Tomar got admission to LLB course based on this BSc degree, the LLB degree should also stand void. Also, this may point out to a larger scam where such unaffiliated colleges like BSILS enroll students, conduct exams, and issue fake degrees. So all in all, it doesn’t look good for Tomar.