Smriti Irani degree row: Delhi Court asks EC to bring records
New Delhi: Delhi State Election Commission was on Thursday directed by a city court to bring records regarding the educational qualifications of Union Minister Smriti Irani, against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.
Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh passed the directions after he was informed by an official for the commission that the documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification were not traceable.
The EC was asked to bring on record the original document as the complainant had alleged that Irani's affidavit filed before it in 2004 for contesting election from Chandni Chowk constituency mentioned her as a graduate.
The official told the court that original documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification were not traceable but the information in this regard was available on the commission's website.
After this, the court directed the official to file a report before it on the matter and fixed the matter for further hearing on 23 July.
The court had on 20 November last year allowed the plea of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the officials of EC and Delhi University to bring the records of Irani's qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.
The complainant had claimed that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.
Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before EC and that a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details could be punished under the provisions of IPC and under section 125A of Representation of the People Act (RPA).
Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both.
The court had on 24 June last year taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.
The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of 11 July, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.
The complaint also alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of 16 April, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.
Updated Date: Jul 14, 2016 20:17:35 IST