Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Minorities Kishore Kumar has been arrested for possessing a fake degree after a court in Dera Ismail Khan declared him disqualified from the provincial assembly on Monday.
Kumar, who held one of the assembly seats reserved for minorities, was also handed a Rs15,000 fine and a one-year imprisonment by District and Sessions Judge DI Khan Akhunzada Shahjahan. Kumar contested the 2008 general elections with a ticket from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl.
The police arrested the MPA from the courtroom and took him to DI Khan Central Jail. Kumar has been charged under sections of 199, 200 and 471 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Speaking to journalists outside the court, Kumar denied that his degree was a fake, adding that he would be moving the Peshawar High Court to challenge the district court’s decision.
“Kumar’s BA degree is certified and bears the signature of the examinations controller at DI Khan’s Gomal University. There is no evidence that his degree is a fake,” Kumar’s counsel Salimullah Rana Zia told The Express Tribune. The degree bears the Roll No. 1195 and claims Kumar sat for the annual exams in 1999.
The case was referred to the district and sessions court by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Ajith Bahadar from the Aqliati Rabta Party, who had lost against Kumar in 2008, challenged the degree. The writ petition had been filed by a member of a minority community, Rajinder Kumar, stating that Kumar got elected on the reserved seats on the ticket of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.
He had contended that the said MPA was not a graduate – a precondition for contesting the 2008 general elections, adding that Kumar had produced a provisional certificate of graduation from the Gomal University, DI Khan in 1999.
The petitioner had earlier alleged that according to the result gazette for the same year of Gomal University, the MPA appearing in that examination under Roll No. 1195, had failed in the examination.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2012.