The Supreme Court on Monday observed that the educational qualifications of a candidate are irrelevant in Indian elections and the only exception could be the state of Kerala, reported Bar and Bench.
A bench of Justice KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna remarked that most voters do not look at a candidate’s educational background before casting vote.
The bench was hearing a plea alleging that Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Harsh Vardhan Bajpayee had in 2017 lied about his educational qualifications, reported The Times of India. The petition by former Congress MLA Anugrah Narayan Singh urged the court to declare Bajpayee’s election to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 2017 null and void.
The petition was filed before the Supreme Court after it was rejected by the Allahabad High Court in September on the grounds that it was infructuous as the term for which Bajpayee was elected had already ended in 2022.
According to Singh, Bajpayee committed corrupt practices by not disclosing his correct educational qualifications and liabilities in the affidavits filed along with his nomination papers for the 2007, 2012 and 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
He argued that Bajpayee claimed to hold a Bachelor of Technology degree from a non-existent university called Seferred in England. Bajpayee also claimed to have graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from Delhi University in 2006, which Singh alleged was not possible since he cleared the BTech examination the same year.