A Delhi court would decide next week on whether to summon Union Minister Smriti Irani on a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information regarding her academic qualifications in affidavits to the Election Commission. Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh on Saturday reserved its order for October 18 after the Delhi State Election Commission, in pursuance to court’s earlier direction, filed before it certain records in a sealed cover relating to Irani’s educational qualification submitted by her for contesting the 2004 general elections.
The court had on October 6 directed Election Commission officials to file the documents after noting that certain 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).
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.