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Rajasthan BJP MLA sent to jail in forgery case

A Judicial Magistrate in Udaipur district’s Sarada town sent BJP MLA from Salumber, Amrit Lal Meena, to jail after he surrendered in the court in connection with a case of alleged forgery. Mr. Meena has been accused of forging his wife’s class V marksheet to enable her to contest the panchayat election in 2015.

The court remanded Mr. Meena in judicial custody till July 23 on Monday. The MLA had allegedly signed the fake marksheet of his wife Shanta Devi as a guardian for submitting it to the State Election Commission with her nomination papers as a proof of her educational qualification.

Ms. Shanta Devi, also an accused who is out on bail, had contested and won the polls for sarpanch in Semri village panchayat. One of her opponents, Sugna Devi, had filed a complaint against her, after which the CB-CID of the State police investigated the case and found the marksheet to be fake.

The chargesheet filed in the case named both Ms. Shanta Devi and Mr. Meena as accused. The Rajasthan High Court had denied interim bail to Mr. Meena, following which he moved a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. The apex court directed him to surrender in the magistrate's court in Sarada within three weeks and stayed his arrest.

The minimum educational qualifications to contest the panchayat and local body polls were introduced in Rajasthan during the previous BJP regime. For contesting the sarpanch election, a candidate from the general category was required to have passed class VIII, while the eligibility for a candidate from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was to have passed class V.

After being elected to power in 2018, the Congress government in the State abolished the minimum educational qualifications required to contest the panchayat and urban body elections.

The CB-CID found in its investigation that Ms. Shanta Devi's marksheet was issued by a school at Nasirabad in Ajmer district, but it was forged and she had not studied or passed class V. During the court proceedings on Monday, the magistrate rejected Mr. Meena's bail application and sent him to jail.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:20:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-bjp-mla-sent-to-jail-in-forgery-case/article35301199.ece

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