A 28-year-old case in Uttar Pradesh has come to an end with awarding five-year incarceration to a sitting BJP MLA. The prison sentence was pronounced by a special MP/MLA court of Faizabad on Monday after the judicial bench found the BJP MLA guilty of committing forgery.
According to reports, 50-year-old Indra Pratap Tiwari, AKA Khabbu Tiwari, has been serving as a BJP MLA from the Gosaiganj assembly constituency in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. He had been facing a legal battle nearly for the past three decades after being accused of using a fake mark sheet to get admission in college. The shocking incident of forging the mark sheet has happened in 1990, where Tiwari, who failed in the second year of graduation, took admission in the next class by submitting a fake mark sheet in 1990.
After identifying that he had forged the mark sheet, the case was lodged against Tiwari on February 18, 1992, by the then Principal of Saket Degree College in Ayodhya, Yaduvansh Ram Tripathi. The case was filed at the Ram Janambhoomi police station and the Uttar Pradesh police took a decade to proceed further with the case. The charge sheet against Tiwari was filed after 13 years since the case was registered and by the time, Tiwari had been a growing politician. He had contested in the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in the BJP ticket.
Despite declaring the value of his assets over Rs 12 lakh in 2007, Tiwari also had 15 cases against him. Tiwari's fake mark sheet case has become one of the cases in Uttar Pradesh that run for a long time that the complainant Tripathi has passed away during the trial. The case had witnessed several setbacks like Tripathi's demise and some of them were the development where several original documents in connection to the case had disappeared from the records.
The Uttar Pradesh police had continued the trial with the secondary copies of the documents and in the albeit of being accused of forgery, the voters had given two more chances to Tiwari to enter the assembly as an MLA and he has been a sitting BJP MLA from the Gosaiganj assembly constituency. When the special MP/MLA court had pronounced its final verdict in the case on Monday, the case was 28-year-old and the verdict was made possible after Mahendra Kumar Agarwal, the then Dean of Saket College, and other witnesses had testified against Tiwari.
The special court bench of Faizabad headed by special judge Puja Singh has on Monday had sentenced Tiwari to a jail term of five years after finding him guilty in the fake mark sheet case. The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 8,000 on the three-time legislator and sent him to jail. BJP MLA Tiwari was present in the court when the verdict was delivered and he was taken into custody after the verdict from the court. Besides this case, there are several criminal cases pending against Tiwari.