Relief for Smriti Irani as Delhi court dismisses fake degree case

Namrata Tripathi
The court said that the complainant had filed the petition to "needlessly harass" Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.

A Delhi court on Tuesday said that Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani will not be summoned for the fake degree case. The court said that the petition filed against Irani questioning her college degrees is an attempt to harass her.

"Complainant may not have filed it if she was not a central minister. Original evidence has already been lost due to passage of years, secondary evidence won't be enough for court," said Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh.

The Magistrate also said that the complainant made a "delay of 11 years" in filing the complaint against Irani.

The case was filed last year by a freelance writer Ahmer Khan, who said that Irani gave contradictory affidavits for elections in 2004, 2011 and 2014. The complainant also said that Irani had knowingly presented fake documents and such an act is punishable by law.

Presenting fake documents can be punishable under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and under section 125-A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA).

Earlier, the Election Commission had filed documents to the court, which were submitted by Irani in support of her educational qualifications for contesting in the 2004 general assembly polls.

However, Delhi University said that the documents related to Irani's BA course from the university in 1996 were not found. Irani, in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, had claimed that she had done a BA course from Delhi University.

The Delhi court directions have come as a huge relief for the Union minister, who was shifted from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Textiles - considered a demotion in the political circles.

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