Appearing as petitioner in person, the former Union Law Minister Dr. Subramanian Swamy told the first Bench consisting of Justices Jagdish Bhalla and S. Sharma of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on March 28th, that Ms. Sonia Gandhi had perjured perse in claiming in her sworn affidavit filed as Lok Sabha candidate from Rae Bareli, that she had been educated in the University of Cambridge in UK.
Flashing dramatically in the jam packed court room the letters received from the University by Dr. Jitendra Kumar, an energy consultant based in USA, Dr. Swamy told the Bench that the University of Cambridge had denied that Ms. Antonia Manio or Sonia Maino or Sonia Gandhi had ever been a student of the prestigious campus. These documents have also not been refuted by the Election Commission, Dr. Swamy added
?So, Your Honour, it is a question of the sanctity of an affidavit, especially since the Supreme Court had held in 2002 that it is the Fundamental Right of every citizen to know the true antecedents of a candidate,? Dr. Swamy thundered.
Dr. Swamy also pointed out that the perjury committed by Ms. Sonia Gandhi which was an offence under Sections 171 and 191 of the Indian Penal Code, and under Section 125A of the Representation of Peoples Act, was wilful and to her knowledge to be false which made the offence even more serious. He pointed out that in the Lok Sabha Who'sWho, Ms. Sonia Gandhi had made the same claim regarding her educational qualification. But when the then Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Manohar Joshi forwarded Dr. Swamy'sletter of complaint, Ms. Gandhi replied that the claim of being educated in the University of Cambridge was ?a typing mistake?. Dr. Swamy wryly added that this was the longest typing mistake in history.
Dr. Swamy told the Court that the Supreme Court has held a number of times the dismissal from employment by a management is justified if an employee has made false claims of educational qualifications in his vitae submitted while applying for a job. ?There cannot be two standards, one for an ordinary citizen and another for Ms. Gandhi. It violates Article 14 of the Constitution?, Dr. Swamy asserted.
Appearing for the Election Commission, the Additional Solicitor General of India, Shri K. Nigam raised several technical issues of the maintainability of Dr. Swamy'spetition. He said Dr. Swamy was not a voter in the Rae Bareli and he has come too late. The Court did not uphold these objections after Dr. Swamy pointed out that the ASG was not been faithful to his client the EC because the EC had written several letters to Dr. Swamy advising him to personally approach the authorities with his complaint. Dr. Swamy had filed these letters in his plaint filed before the Court. Dr. Swamy also said that a criminal offence of perjury can be raised at any time, and urged the Court to direct the ASG to deal with the meat of the matter as to whether the documents reveal perjury or not. But the ASG wanted time to submit some law citations on the maintainability issue.
The Bench then asked Dr. Swamy for convenient next date, and fixed May 15th after he said he would be busy with Tamil Nadu elections till May 8th.