HC seeks report on PU polls candidate's document forgery
High Court seeks Chandigarh Police report on PU polls candidate's document forgery
A Panjab University (PU) student, Rajkaran Baidwan, who ran as a presidential candidate in the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) elections, has come under scrutiny due to discrepancies in his age and educational records. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Chandigarh Police to investigate these allegations and submit a report by September 20.
Baidwan's candidature for the election was rejected by PU after it was discovered that he exceeded the prescribed age limit for contesting the election. In response, he challenged PU's decision, asserting that no objections were raised against him during the nomination process, and he appeared as an eligible candidate in the initial list. However, his name was omitted from the final candidate list. He alleged that this was done to favor another candidate, Saksham Singh, who was in a similar situation.
Age discrepancy and forged documents
PU's counsel argued during the hearing that, according to the Lyngdoh Committee's recommendations, Baidwan, being a post-graduate student, should fall within the age range of 24 to 25 to contest the election. However, Baidwan's documents, including his Aadhaar card, displayed different birthdates, making him ineligible.
The court learned that Baidwan submitted Class 10 documents with conflicting birthdates: November 18, 1997, and November 18, 1998. These inconsistencies raised concerns of forgery and misrepresentation to gain admission and run in the elections.
Court's directive and potential consequences
The court observed that crucial information had been concealed in Baidwan's petition, impacting his eligibility. As a result, it directed the police to initiate an inquiry to determine the factual aspects of the case. The court also instructed the police to collect records related to his birthdate. The matter has been scheduled for a follow-up on September 20.
Furthermore, Baidwan has been instructed to deposit ₹1 lakh with the high court registry. If the allegations against him are substantiated, this amount may be imposed as a penalty.
Potential actions by the University and Student Union
The PU authorities confirmed that they would monitor the court proceedings and take appropriate actions against Baidwan, which may include the cancellation of his admission. The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU), which Baidwan represented, also indicated that they would assess the situation independently and could consider revoking his membership. Baidwan had previously faced suspension from the National Students Union of India (NSUI).
Baidwan claims that he is a victim of vendetta by rival student parties and intends to seek legal remedies in this matter, challenging the objections filed against him beyond the specified deadline.