High Court issues notice to election commission in Gujarat minister’s fake degree case

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The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Election Commission to include it among the respondents in a petition alleging the MBA degree that Minister of State for Health Shankar Chaudhary possessed was fake.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice N.V. Anjaria fixed 7 December for the next hearing in the case filed by Congress worker Farsu Goklani, who hails from the minister’s home constituency of Radhanpur.

Earlier, the court had issued notices to the State Election Commission, the private management institute from which the minister had obtained the disputed degree and the state’s chief secretary but none has filed any replies.

The court accepted Goklani’s plea to make EC a respondent, pointing out that the State Election Commission had no jurisdiction over the case.

The petitioner has alleged that Chaudhary, in his nomination papers filed for the 2012 assembly election, had falsely claimed to have an MBA degree from National Institute of Management. Goklani wondered how the minister flaunted an MBA degree in 2012 when he had passed the class 12 examinations just a year before in 2011, whereas a commerce or management bachelors degree course was of three years prior to pursuance of a masters programme. 

Goklani had on July 17 complained about this to the State Election Commission, which advised him to lodge an FIR. 

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