The perjury case against Smt. Sonia Gandhi filed by former Union Law Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy in Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court came up for further hearing on May 23. In his petition Dr Swamy has prayed for a direction of the Court to a Magistrate to register a criminal case of perjury against Congress president and Rae Bareli MP Smt. Sonia Gandhi for wilfully and falsely claiming in her 2004 sworn affidavit filed before the Rae Bareli Returning officer, to have been educated in the prestigious University of Cambridge in UK. Dr Swamy has alleged that Smt Gandhi has thus violated Section 125A of the Election Law and Section 177G of the Indian Penal Code. If found guilty then she would have to serve a prison term of at least a year and a fine.
The case had been adjourned on May 15 by first bench headed by Justice J. Bhalla after giving permission to Dr Swamy to file a supplementary affidavit. Dr Swamy, who appeared in person since he argues all cases himself, told the Court that since the last hearing on March 28 Smt Gandhi had sworn a new affidavit on her educational qualifications before the Rae Bareli Returning Officer in the by-election held on May 8 this year. He wanted permission to file it, which was granted and posted for admission on May 23.
In her 2006 affidavit Smt Sonia Gandhi has dropped her spurious claim to have been educated in the University of Cambridge, and instead claimed to have received a ?certificate in English from Lennox Cook School, city of Cambridge, U.K.? Therefore Dr Swamy in his supplementary affidavit has stated that this proves his charge of perjury in her sworn signed statement of 2004, and thus may be taken as an admission by Smt Gandhi to have committed the crime. The Supreme Court, Dr Swamy pointed out, has repeatedly held that falsification of educational qualification is a serious offence, and legitimate ground for denying any public employment. Here, Dr Swamy said, Smt Gandhi wants to lead an ancient nation of billion plus people, and hence the crime of perjury a billion times more serious.
When the Court convened on May 23, the case was transferred to another bench headed by Justice Pradeep Kanth. When the matter came up, Justice Kanth asked Dr Swamy if in view of Smt Gandhi'sresignation from Lok Sabha (on the Office of Profit issue), whether his petition had lost it'scause of action. Dr Swamy promptly answered that an offence once committed does not disappear from the purview of law because the circumstance of the accused changes. Justice Kanth then observed that since Dr Swamy was ?technically right?, he was admitting his supplementary affidavit and posted the next hearing to a date after summer vacation of the Court.
Later, Dr Swamy in an exclusive to this correspondent, said that even the claim of Smt Gandhi'sclaim of education in a certificate in English from the Lennox Cook School is a false declaration since according to the official website of the city of Cambridge, the said ?school? is listed under ?shop establishments? category and not under ?educational institutions? . The School had been closed down, and never had ever any recognition from the UK Board of Education. Dr Swamy said that he had talked an Italian contemporary of Smt Gandhi at Lennox Cook School who told him that the ?certificate? is awarded after just one month of learning enough English for foreigners to be able to take non-skilled jobs in UK. Therefore for Smt Gandhi to claim this as an educational qualification is an attempt to defraud the public and defeat the purpose for which the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission to require candidates to declare their educational qualifications.