SILCHAR: Questions are afloat in legal circles about the fate of AIUDF MLA of Sonai, Karim Uddin Barbhuiya. Aminul Haque Laskar, former Deputy Speaker and his nearest rival of BJP, filed election petition, before Gauhati High Court, for declaring the election of Karim Uddin Barbhuiya null and void for filing incorrect information about his academic qualifications. High Court has directed K U Barbhuiya to appear in person before it on August 4, 2021.
Legal experts cite similar case from Manipur. Yumkham Erabot Singh, defeated BJP MLA in the Assembly election of the state in 2017, filed election petition before Manipur High Court, challenging the election of Okam Henry who fought as an Independent and won. Okram later on switched over to BJP to become a minister. In its judgement delivered on April 15, 2021, the High Court set aside the election of Okram Henry from Wangkhei seat and cleared the desk for the nearest rival Yumkham Erabot Singh, who polled second highest votes. Will there be repetition of it in Sonai?
AIUDF MLA elected from Sonai in the last Assembly elections attracted the attention of the House by taking oath in Sanskrit during the swearing in ceremony, winning applause from the people of Barak Valley. But, the euphoria over him began to fade when questions began to be raised in some knowledgeable circles about his educational qualifications. His affidavit submitted to the Election Officer, Navneeta Hazarika, mentions his educational qualifications as matriculation, higher secondary, BA and diploma in engineering.
RTIs filed by concerned citizens before the authorities concerned revealed startling facts, enough to upset one's mind. His only qualification is HSLC which he passed out from Public Higher Secondary School Silchar in 1984. Karim Uddin Barbhuiya has mentioned he passed out Higher Secondary from Gurucharan College Silchar in 1987 and Civil Engineering in 1990 from The Engineering Institute of Engineers, Delhi, and BA from Chaudhury Charan Singh University, Meerut, in 1991.
Karim Uddin Barbhuiya could not pass Higher Secondary as informed by the Information Officer, G. C. College, and the Secretary, Higher Secondary Education Council. Chaudhary Charan Singh University informed no such student appeared for B A Examination in 1991. Quite amazing, no institute like The Engineering Institute of Engineers exists in Delhi. Still amazing, the AIUDF MLA swore an affidavit about his credentials and educational qualifications before the Notary, Cachar, Silchar on March 18, 2016.
A voter of Sonai Afsar Ahmed Chaudhury filed FIR before the O/C Sonai Police Station on January 2, 2021, demanding action against would be MLA Karim Uddin Barbhuiya for criminal conspiracy and forgery under relevant sections of IPC. Investigation Officer, Bornali Gohain, found no substantial evidence. After K U Barbhuiya got elected as MLA, his nearest rival Aminul Haque Laskar, former Deputy Speaker, took it as a challenge and his well wishers went into action to file RTIs under Right to Information Act, 2006. Thus tumbled out many a skeleton from the cupboard and now the voters of Sonai wait for the day of judgement.