A court in Delhi on Thursday directed the Delhi State Election Commission (EC) 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, as reported by PTI, passed directions after he was informed by an official from the commission that documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification were not traceable but the information in this regard was available on the commission’s website.
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 court directed the official to file a report before it on the matter and fixed the matter for further hearing on July 23.
The court had on November 20 2015 allowed the plea of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the officials of EC and the Delhi University (DU) 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 the 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 June 24 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 Bachelor of Arts in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 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 April 16, 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.