Trouble for HRD Minister Smriti Irani: Delhi court to hear complaint over her degrees on 28 August
In fresh trouble for HRD Minister Smriti Irani, a court took cognizance of a complaint filed against her.
In fresh trouble for HRD Minister Smriti Irani, a Delhi court on Wednesday took cognizance of a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information about her educational qualification.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain took cognizance of the complaint and fixed the matter for recording of pre-summoning evidence on 28 August.
"It is held that the present complaint case is filed under limitation (of time). Cognizance is taken. The matter be now fixed for pre-summoning evidence on August 28," the magistrate said.
"The court has taken cognizance. It has directed the complainant to prove his allegations," Smriti Irani's lawyer told reporters.
"Her educational qualifications are not false. There is no ambiguity. The court should not even have taken any cognizance of the complaint," said the lawyer.
Irani's lawyer also clarified that the HRD Minister had not been summoned in the case so far and no FIR had been registered against her
The complainant in the case, Ahmer Khan, said, "The court took our allegations very seriously. On 28 August, I will present evidence in the court. Then, summons to Smriti Irani will be issued."
"This is not a personal victory. This is a victory for the people. Smriti Irani is accountable to the people. She will have to provide answers... In her affidavits, Smriti Irani gave wrong educational qualifications," he said.
"It is not wrong to be illiterate. But giving wrong qualifications, especially after being the HRD Minister, isn't right," the complainant added.
The complaint filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan alleged that Irani, in her three affidavits before the EC while filing nominations for her candidature for Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha polls, had purportedly given different details about her educational qualification.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain had on 1 June reserved the order on the plea after hearing arguments on the aspect of limitation and whether cognisance can be taken or not.
Senior advocate KK Manan, appearing for Khan, had told the court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls Irani had said that she completed her BA in 1996 from Delhi University (school of correspondence) whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 for contesting Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat she said her highest educational qualification was B.Com part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.
The complaint had alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of 16 April, 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.
"It is evident from the contents of the affidavits filed by Smriti Z Irani that at best only one of the depositions by her on oath in respect of her educational qualifications is correct," the complaint had alleged.
"The aforesaid affidavits of Smriti Irani, apart from the ostensibly false and discrepant statements in respect of her educational qualifications, also appear to contain false discrepant statements in respect of immovable properties owned by her and other details set out by her," it had claimed.
"The aforesaid facts and circumstances reveal commission of offences by accused under section 125A of Representation of People Act, 1951, besides any other offences that may attract other penal provisions as an outcome of an additional investigation," the plea had alleged.
With PTI inputs
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