NEW DELHI, October 31: New material on Amit Jogi, son of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, suggests that his nomination by the Congress party to contest Assembly elections from the Marwahi constituency could spin into a potential embarrassment for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who recently took the moral high ground against criminalisation of politics.
In late September, Mr. Gandhi publicly denounced the UPA’s pushing of the controversial ordinance to negate the Supreme Court verdict on convicted lawmakers as “complete nonsense.” He had said the ordinance should be “torn up and thrown away” while admitting that what “our government has done is wrong.”
Apart from several pending criminal charges, copies of two declarations filed by Amit Jogi along with the certified copy issued by Collector, Raipur, which are available with The Hindu, reveal that he has additionally accomplished the extraordinary feat of being born in three different places and on different dates.
Amit Jogi is presently out on bail in the Ram Avtar Jaggi case in which he was accused of having entered — along with a few other persons — into a conspiracy to murder the NCP leader.
After his earlier acquittal by the trial court, the High Court admitted a revision petition filed by Satish Jaggi on grounds that “learned Special Judge (of the trial court) has travelled beyond the jurisdiction vested on it and thereby committed illegality” while issuing a bailable warrant of Rs. 5,000 against Amit Jogi. The case is pending in the High Court.
Further, Amit Jogi was a co-accused in the MLA bribery case just after the 2003 Chhattisgarh Assembly polls when the Congress lost the election and tried to break up the BJP. A CBI inquiry was ordered, which culminated in the filing of a closure report by the agency on the advice of the Law Ministry, which said an “acting Chief Minister” can’t be treated as a “public servant” under the definition provided in the Prevention of Corruption Act.
To add to Amit Jogi’s woes, the former State Finance Commission Chairman, Virendra Pandey, the whistleblower in the MLA bribery case, has challenged the CBI closure report in the CBI court, Raipur, on which the final order is still awaited.
Amit Jogi was also an accused in the sting operation case in which the then BJP Minister, the late Dileep Singh Judeo, was caught on camera taking money.
Neither Mr. Gandhi’s office nor Mr. Jogi responded to calls, SMSs or emails from The Hindu.
Many births, birthplaces
Mr. Jogi submitting multiple dates and birthplaces in different forms and affidavits is also curious. In his application dated December 15, 2001 for registration as an Indian citizen under Section 5(1)(A) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, Amit Jogi stated that he was born on August 7, 1977 in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
On August 26, 2002, during his father’s tenure as Chief Minister, Amit Jogi applied for a State of Chhattisgarh Domicile Certificate in which he claimed he was born in Bilaspur on August 7, 1978, a full year after the date mentioned in his application form for Indian citizenship.
Even in this application, Amit Jogi added another variation in his supporting affidavit, claiming his birthplace was Village Pendra, Bilaspur District.
However, Amit Jogi was issued a Domicile Certificate on the basis of his application by the Collector, Raipur, affirming Chhattisgarh as his birthplace.
On August 27, 2004 (during the BJP government’s rule in Chhattisgarh) Amit Jogi went on to apply for a Scheduled Tribe (ST) Certificate. In his application and sworn affidavit, Amit Jogi claimed that he was born on August 7, 1977 — not in Dallas, but in Gaurela, Pendra Road.
However, the Patwari’s certificate submitted by Amit Jogi along with his application states that he was born in Saarbahara Village Tehsil Pendra Road, District Bilaspur.
Apart from these glaring discrepancies within the same application, the validity of his claim for ST status has been hugely debated after the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes held that Ajit Jogi is not a tribal. This was challenged by Ajit Jogi on the ground that the Commission has no power to probe an individual’s caste status.
After a prolonged legal battle, the Supreme Court ordered a fresh enquiry into his caste status on October 13, 2011. Its report is still pending.