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Fake degree row: HC seeks judicial records of Smriti Irani case

The court directed that records be produced before it on the next date of hearing on September 13

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani

The High on Tuesday summoned the judicial records of a case in which a trial had dismissed a plea against Textiles Minister alleging that she had misrepresented about her educational qualifications before the Commission. Justice called for records of the trial court, which in October last year had dismissed a complaint against Irani. The directed that records be produced before it on the next date of hearing on September 13. The issued the direction on a plea of freelance writer Ahmer Khan, challenging the trial court's decision of October 18 last year by which his complaint was dismissed, holding that it was filed to "needlessly harass" Irani as she was a union minister. While declining to summon her as an accused, the trial judge had said that there was a "great delay of around 11 years" in filing the complaint. The petitioner said the trial order was bad in and it needed to be set aside. Khan alleged that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the Commission in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and did not give any clarification despite concerns raised. The petitioner had urged a trial to take cognisance of the offences alleged in the plea under Section 125A of the RPA and "summon accused person, Smriti Z Irani, for trial". Khan had alleged that the minister 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). Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both. The complainant had claimed before the trial that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.

Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU. He had alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.

First Published: Tue, May 23 2017. 21:25 IST