Experts: Govt free to recover remuneration received by Tomar
Legal experts believe that if the government is willing, then it is free to recover remuneration received by Jitender Singh Tomar during his tenure as MLA in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside his election over false declaration on his educational qualification in the nomination papers for the Assembly polls in 2015.
The High Court observed that Tomar indulged in corrupt practices. "It is held that the respondent no.1 (Tomar) published statements of fact which were false and which he did not believe to be true in relation to his educational qualifications and to unduly influence the voters/electors in his election... which amounts to a corrupt practice."
The High Court set aside his election in 2015, but did not disqualify him from contesting again. Tomar is again contesting the Delhi Assembly polls in February on an AAP ticket from the Tri Nagar constituency.
Senior advocate Narender Hooda said, insisting on a lacunae in the law, the Delhi High Court has just set aside his election, but did not disable him from contesting again despite a finding that he had indulged in corrupt practice to influence voters. "The High Court has given no direction to refund the remuneration. Therefore, this is hardly a punishment in an electoral offence", said Hooda.
The High Court held that "the false declaration by the respondent no.1 of his educational qualification and vocation has resulted in inducement and thwarted free exercise of electoral right of the voter."
Tomar was accused of submitting forged degree certificates while enrolling with the Bar Council of Delhi. In the chargesheet, the police have alleged Tomar forged graduation degree from Avadh University and used it to get admission in a law college under Tilka Manjhi University, where he managed LLB degree without appearing in the exams.
The High Court noted that no merit was found in Tomar's plea on the veracity of declaration required to be made in Form 26, to be filled in by the candidate at the time of seeking election, being not in the domain of an election petition. Senior advocate Puneet Mittal said if the government wants, it can recover the funds received by Tomar during the tenure as MLA. "The Delhi High Court has set aside his election, then whatever benefits he had received fall under the ambit of recovery", said Mittal.
The Delhi High Court passed the 40-page judgement on a plea by BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg alleging Tomar's 2015 election "materially affected by deliberate concealment, misrepresentation, wrong declaration and wilful suppression of the educational qualification in the affidavit filed along with the nomination form".IANS