The Delhi High Court based on the petition filed by BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg has set aside AAP leader Jitendra Singh Tomar’s election from the Tri Nagar Constituency from where he was elected in the 2015 polls. Mr. Tomar won the election by a margin of 63000 votes defeating Nand kishore Garg from the Tri Nagar Constituency. Mr. Tomar is convicted for producing false LL.B degree during filling up of the nomination form, which amounts to a corrupt practice under section 123(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Backdrop of the Case
The petition was filed by BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg whom Tomar beat in the Tri Nagar Constituency by a margin of 63000 votes in the 2015 polls. Nand submitted in his petition that Tomar has falsely represented himself as a graduate in law, an advocate and a member of the bar council of Delhi. He submitted that such practices amount to corrupt practice under the Representation of People Act, 1951.
- The Court noted that Mr. Tomar has falsely represented himself. They also stated that such false declaration by him of his educational qualification and vocation has resulted in inducement to the free exercise of electoral rights of the voters.
- The Court firmly stated that “it is a settled principle of law that there can be no estoppels against statues.”
- The Delhi High Court set aside Jitendra Singh Tomar’s election as void, and also held that the election commission wrongfully accepted Tomar’s nomination.
Final Judgment by the HC
The petitioners argued that Tomar falsely represented himself as a law graduate and an advocate. He further argued that because he is not even a graduate in law his claim of being a member of the Bar Council of Delhi is also false and bogus. He also argued that Tomar ran his election campaign claiming himself to be a graduate in law and an advocate; he submitted that such practices will come under corrupt practice under section 123(4) of the Representation of People Act.
Tomar in his defence argued that furnishing of false documents with the nomination form does not constitute any grounds for the setting aside of election. He further argued that the petitioner have no material evidence that such declaration have affected the outcome of the election. He further stated that he has even earlier contested election against Mr. Nand claiming himself as an advocate and Mr. Nand has not raised any issue then. He then stated that he was found to be eligible to get admission to a law college and also completed his course and was awarded a law degree, and lastly he stated that his claim had no effect to the electoral choice.
The Delhi Court rejecting all the defence put forward by Mr. Tomar held that, though Mr. Nand earlier had contested election against him without raising any issue then doesn’t prevent him from filing this election petition. The High Court also highlighted the following: “the statutory requirement of disclosing the highest school/university education and vocation in a nomination form cannot be compiled with pedantically. It is not open to a person, who under the relevant statutes was not eligible for admission to the highest educational qualification and who got admission thereto by fabricating documents of eligibility, to contend that he has indeed obtained the qualification disclosed by him”
Hence, the Delhi High Court held that the qualification so obtained to be void, and also held the Mr. Tomar’s election in the 2015 polls be set aside and also stated that it was wrongful on the part of Election Commission to accept his nomination.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. LiveLaw, Delhi HC sets aside AAP leader Jitender Tomars election for stating false educational qualification in election declaration, https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-hc-sets-aside-aap-leader-jitender-tomars-election-for-stating-false-educational-qualification-in-election-declaration-read-judgment-151752?infinitescroll=1 (Last visited 18th January 2020 1:14 PM)
2. The Hindu, High Court sets aside ex-Delhi law minister Jitender Tomar’s election in 2015 polls for false declaration, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/high-court-sets-aside-ex-delhi-law-minister-jitender-tomars-election-in-2015-polls-for-false-declaration/article30586139.ece (Last visited 18th January 2020 1:14 PM)