SINGAPORE: A 29-year-old lawyer has been fined S$10,000 for falsifying her law degree certificate and transcript so as to improve her chances of getting a job with the Singapore Legal Service.
Jaya Anil Kumar, who read law at the National University of Singapore, pleaded guilty to two charges of “fraudulently using as genuine a forged document”.
Another four similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Jaya had graduated from NUS in 2011 with second class honours (lower division), but doctored her certificate and transcript to read “second class honours (upper division)”.
She also admitted she had edited her transcript to reflect better grades than she had actually received.
Jaya was called to the Singapore Bar as an advocate and solicitor in July 2012.
When she applied to the Singapore Legal Service in January 2013, she submitted a genuine certificate, but forged the transcript to reflect better grades for 21 out of 27 subjects, a court heard.
Jaya’s forgery was not detected, and she was granted an interview with a selection panel. However, she was not offered a job.
In October 2016, Jaya applied to the Singapore Legal Service again. This time, she forged both her certificate and transcript.
Jaya doctored the certificate to reflect “second class honours (upper division)", as well as the transcript to reflect better grades for 18 out of 27 subjects.
When the Legal Service Commission contacted Jaya to seek her consent to ask NUS for her class ranking and percentile ranking, she declined.
The Legal Service Commission also asked her about the discrepancies in the certificates and transcripts she had submitted in 2013 and 2016.
Jaya emailed her genuine documents to the Legal Service Commission after their queries. They lodged a police report in November.
Besides attempting to fool the Legal Service Commission, Jaya admitted she had also submitted falsified documents to legal resource service provider R & T Asia Resources in May 2016.
For using as genuine a forged document, Jaya could have been sentenced up to four years’ jail and fined.