New Delhi, June 24: In a fresh trouble for HRD Minister Smriti Irani, a Delhi court on Wednesday, June 24, took cognizance of a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information about her educational qualification.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain considered the private complaint against Irani and fixed August 28 for recording pre-summoning evidence in the case.
On June 1, the court reserved its order on consideration of the complaint filed by Ahmer Khan. Khan in his complaint in April sought action against the minister for allegedly lying on oath about her educational qualification.
Smriti Irani's counsel told a news agency, "Yes, Court has found plea maintainable, but only to the extent that complainant must show proof on day of hearing." [HRD Minister Smriti Irani's degrees should be verified: Modi's brother Prahlad]
Khan's lawyer K K Manan told the court that Irani declared herself to be a 1996 batch B. A. graduate from Delhi University in her affidavit filed for the 2004 Lok Sabha election. But in her 2014 Lok Sabha election affidavit, she stated she had done B.Com Part 1 in 1994 from Delhi University.
"It is evident from the contents of the affidavits filed by Irani that at best, only one of the depositions by her on oath in respect of her educational qualifications is correct," said the petitioner's counsel.
The petition claimed that Irani also lied on oath about her assets and it sought action against her for offences under the Representation of the People Act.
The complaint alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 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.
While reacting to the court's order, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, said, "Court finds case cognizable, Smriti Irani should be asked to step down for a fair probe."
Shobha Oza, another Congress spokesperson said, "Smriti Irani has misled entire country & EC by giving diff affidavits as far as her educational qualifications are concerned. She should immediately step down and a criminal FIR should be launched against her."
BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria said, "Court has taken her degree case into cognizance. Smriti Irani has now no moral right to continue in office."
AAP and Congress have been demanding that the Centre should probe the charges of false educational qualification against Irani.
(With agency inputs)