Chandigarh, May 20 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today came down heavily on the Bar Council of the two states and its former honorary secretary, Harish Narang, for submitting a false affidavit concealing the name of the university from where he had graduated.
It also issued a notice to Narang seeking an explanation why action against him on charges of perjury should not be taken.
The directions were issued by the High Court on a petition filed by Advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti. The petitioner had sought quashing the election of Harish Narang as honorary secretary of the Bar Council terming it as illegal and against the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961.
The petitioner had further sought direction to the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana restraining Harish Narana from having access to the records pertaining to his degree till the issue concerning his law degree is resolved.
The Bar Council of India had directed the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana to get the law degree of Harish verified. Meanwhile, Bhatti filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information about the Harish’s law degree. On July 24, 2007, the Bar Council of India had sought information from the Kanpur University about genuineness of his degree. However, as per the petitioner, the university did not give any satisfactory reply, the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana was then asked to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, Narang had surrendered his licence with the Bar Council after 15 years of practice. In his affidavit, Narang had mentioned the name of a university from where he had obtained his degree certificate. However, on verification, the Bar Council had found that Narang had completed his degree from some other university. Taking a dig at Narang, the Chief Justice of High Court, Justice Vijender Kumar Jain, questioned the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana on what guidelines or policies were framed by it to keep a check on such frauds being committed.
The Chief Justice remarked that it was very easy for a lawyer to continue with his fake degree for years together and then surrender his licence when he is found guilty.
Notices have been issued against Narang asking why action on charges of perjury be not taken against him.