Under immense political pressure in a case involving his educational qualifications, Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar on Tuesday submitted his resignation to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hours after a Delhi court remanded him to four-day police custody.
"Jitender Singh Tomar has put in his papers a while back. CM Arvind Kejriwal has accepted the resignation," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told Zee News late Tuesday evening, adding that the resignation letter will be forwarded to L-G Najeeb Jung on Wednesday morning.
Forty-nine-year-old Tomar was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Navneet Budhiraja within hours of his arrest in the case, which took place in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Delhi's Law Minister has been arrested without any notice or prior information. What is the BJP government doing?" Singh said on Tuesday. "If Modi thinks he can threaten the AAP by sending its leaders to jail or use muscle power, then we are not going to let that happen," Singh added as reported by the India Today.
The Delhi Police had sought his five-day custody claiming that his educational certificates relating to law degree were "fabricated" and he was required to be taken to Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and Bhagalpur in Bihar to ascertain his educational qualification.
An FIR was registered against Tomar on Monday night in Hauz Khas Police Station and he was slapped with charges under various sections of the IPC including those related to cheating and criminal conspiracy.
Tomar was interacting with a group of people in his office in Trinagar when about 30-40 policemen took him away on the pretext of getting some documents and then drove him to the Hauz Khas police station, according to his staff.
What happened inside court
The Delhi Police told the court that the educational certificates which Tomar claims to be true were fabricated and during their initial probe, the authorities who signed those certificates have denied their genuineness.
"Everything (documents) is something which either is denied by the institution or we don't know as to how these documents came into light. For this we need Tomar's interrogation," the police said, adding, that "according to him (Tomar), all these documents (educational certificates) are allegedly true but all those who allegedly signed these documents say they have not signed it."
The investigating officer (IO) told the court that on the basis of a complaint given by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), a preliminary enquiry was conducted and after taking reports from concerned universities, an FIR was lodged in the case.
During the hearing, the court asked the Delhi Police, "You (police) have served the notice on Tuesday. What was the need to arrest him on Tuesday itself?"
"He has the power to fabricate documents within minutes", the police said, when the defence counsel asked the court to grant Tomar interim bail.
Is Tomar a mafia man, asks AAP
Terming the arrest "totally unconstitutional", Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was an attempt by the Modi government to "teach AAP a lesson" and asserted that no one involved in corruption will be spared.
"Attempts are being made to create an Emergency-like situation in Delhi through dictatorship as we have come down hard on those involved in corruption," said Sisodia.
Accusing police of treating Tomar as a "mafia", Sisodia said they forcibly put him into a car without giving any specific reason and seized his vehicle before bringing him to the police station.
"Tomar was arrested as if he was a mafia. Was he running away? Did he set off a bomb? What was the emergency, especially when a scam is being reopened? There's a deep underlying reason behind his arrest.
"This is an attempt to teach AAP a lesson. We would not spare anyone who will come in the way of our fight against corruption. His college affidavit clearly states that he has passed his law degree," Sisodia said.
Don't fight with everyone, BJP tells Kejriwal
After the arrest of Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar and AAP alleging political vendatta, BJP asked CM Arvind Kejriwal to respect the law and not pick up a fight with everyone.
"Kejriwal has got a decisive mandate. He should work. Mr Kejriwal, governance is a serious business. Please govern. He should respect the law," Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He said Kejriwal is picking up fights with everyone, be it within his party, with his officers, with BJP leaders and now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi since morning ever since his Law Minister was arrested.
"What is the point of fighting with everyone, you should do work instead, which is more important," he said.
No political vendetta behind complaint, says BCD chief
The Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) Chairman on Tuesday claimed there was no 'political vendetta' behind the complaint lodged by the organisation against Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar for allegedly obtaining fake degree and his subsequent arrest.
BCD Chairman K K Manan alleged that Tomar's law degrees were forged and they had given a complaint to Delhi Police on 11 May in this regard and the police, after taking cognisance of it, lodged an FIR and arrested the minister this morning.
He also raised questions as to why Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was favouring Tomar, instead of getting verified the Law Minister's claim that his degrees were genuine.
"Instead of shunting out this person, the chief minister and the party are creating 'halla gulla' (ruckus). Why the CM has not got Tomar's claim verified, he has all the infrastructure to get it done," Manan said, adding that "there is no political vendetta in this (behind Tomar's arrest)".
At a press conference earlier on Tuesday, Delhi Police said K S Saket Post-Graduation College in Ayodhya have told the investigators that no B Sc degree and marks sheets were issued in the name of Jitender Singh Tomar.
The police said the Tilkamanjhi University in Bihar's Bhagalpur also termed Tomar's law degree fake. Law College in Bihar's Munger from where Tomar claimed he studied law is affiliated to Tilkamanjhi University.
With agency inputs
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Updated Date: Jun 10, 2015 11:52:35 IST