The Gujarat HC Tuesday issued notices to state government, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Shankar Chaudhary and Election Commission (EC) on a PIL filed by a Patan-based Congress worker, alleging that the minister has a fake MBA degree. The division bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel, sought replies from the respondents, including Patan Superintendent of Police and two educational institutes — Sheth K B Vakil Vividhlaxi Vidyalaya, Patan, from where Chaudhary completed his Class XII in 2011, and National Institute of Management (NIM), Vadodara, from where he got MBA degree.
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The petitioner, Farsu Goklani, has alleged that Chaudhary completed Class XII from Patan school in 2011 and just a year later he obtained an MBA degree from Vadodara-based institute. Using information through RTI, Goklani has claimed that an institute can’t give degree course in a year. Goklani has also annexed affidavit of Chaudhary which he submitted before the EC before contesting the assembly election in 2012. After hearing submissions of the petitioner through advocate Shalin Mehta, HC observed that the EC could not become passive in such cases, and posted further hearing on October 29. Chaudhary, MLA from Vav in Banaskantha, was made a minister after Anandiben Patel took charge as CM in May 2014.
The BJP has said that court’s order will be acceptable to all. In a release, party spokesperson I K Jadeja said that Chaudhary had given clarification to the party following the development in court. The minister has told party leaders that while he completed class X and XII from secondary board, he earned degree in Diploma in Business Management and Master in Business Management from private institutes. (With PTI inputs)