A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a plea against the former HRD minister, Smriti Irani, for allegedly giving false info about her qualifications to EC.
While rejecting the plea Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh said that there was a “great delay of around 11 years” in filing the complaint.
“Therefore, prayer for summoning the proposed accused (Irani) is hearby declined,” the court said while pronouncing the order.
In his complaint, freelance writer Ahmer Khan had alleged that Irani, now Textiles Minister, had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the Election Commission in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification, despite concerns raised on the issue.
Khan had urged the court to take cognisance of the offences alleged in the plea under Section 125A of the RPA and “summon the accused person, Smriti Z Irani, for trial”.
“After conducting trial hold the acused guilty, convict and sentence the accused person in accordance with law, in the interest of justice to the complainant and also the public at large”, he had prayed.
The court, while declining the prayer, said the original evidence was already lost due to passage of several years and the court needed to be “relieved of the burden of adjudicating such inconsequential claim or case”.
It said the fate of the case could be foreseen as inevitable failure as original evidence was lost due to the “great delay” and the complainant may not have even bothered to file the plea if Irani was not a central minister.
“So, where the original evidence has already been lost due to passage of number of years, the secondary evidence available will probably be not able to withstand the test of judicial scrutiny, there is great great delay of around 11 years in filing of the complaint…
“The said delay could not be condoned as complainant is not an aggrieved person, the complaint does not appear to have been filed for vindication of majesty of justice and maintenance of law and order, the complaint appears to have been filed to needlessly harass the proposed accused,” the magistrate said.
Irani is accused of giving false information regarding her academic qualifications in affidavits to the Election Commission.
The court had on October 6 directed Election Commission officials to file the documents after noting that certian clarifications were required in the matter.
During earlier hearings of the complaint filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan, the court was told by a poll panel official that the documents filed by Irani regarding her educational qualification while filing nominations, were not traceable. However, the information on this was available on its website, he had said.
In pursuance to the court’s direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found.
The court had on November 20 last year allowed the complainant’s plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.
The complainant had alleged that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications 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 qualifications and that a candidate, deliberately giving incorrect details, could be punished under provisions of the IPC and under section 125A of the Representation of the People Act (RPA).
The decision by the court has not gone well with the social media users, who found the magistrate’s reasoning in defence of Irani, a public servant bizarre. Many of them were also quick to draw a parallel to how the lower court and other law enforcing agencies had treated political leaders from non-BJP parties.
Here are some reactions:
Mahendra Khanna: Icici wale 11 saal baad mujhse recovery maang rahe hain dena chahiye??
Ashu Chaku: Then all tax cases corruption cases and audit paras are all back dated then they all should be droped
Javed Hunarkar: Someone chase this verdict in supreme court
Amarapura Janard: but AAP MLAs can be summoned, detained and later judged that it is political harassment
Feroz Khan: That means one who commits crime and Complaint is not registered, and after 11 years he hold clean chit?
Ca Ramavtar Radheyshyam Dalmia: Jis desh mein kanoon hi bika hua ho uss desh se nyay ki Umeed rakhna bekar hai. Kya betuka nyay hai ki complaint filed the case to harass her and he wouldn’t have filled complaint if she wouldn’t be a central minister. Mr judge you wouldn’t have given
Chetan Shah: Are Bhai……..original evidence …smriti Irani ke nahi ghumenge……..toh kya…….aap aur hum main se kisi ke ghumenge……..? Aap ka neta hota…toh EC …jameen khod ke bhi original evidence le aati……Bhai….samjha karo…..modiji ko apni fajiyat thodina karvaani thi….already roj hoti hai unki fajiyat…..isliye …sirf 11 saal main hi ..original evidence… Gaayab from university…. N that too of smriti Irani……good…..judge sahaab ki taareef honi chahaiye….aisa aitehasik judgement dene ke liye.
Parameswaran Ananthakrishnan: Tomar AAP so separate law for him.Smiriti irani Bjp Cabinet Minister
Umesh Kumar Maurya: Shame on DU…you could not find 1996 degree…Even Gorakhpur university is able to produce degree from 1993.
Shrikant Yete: हम अदालत केस सुलझाने के लिए जाते हैं या उलझाने के लिए.