A Delhi court on Wednesday took cognizance of a complaint alleging that HRD minister Smriti Irani had given “false information” about her educational qualification to the Election Commission (EC).
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain took cognizance of the complaint and fixed the matter for recording of pre-summoning evidence on August 28 after freelance writer Ahmer Khan claimed that prima facie offence under Section 125 A of Representation of People Act, 1951 is made out against Irani.
In its five-page order, the court held that the issue of delay in launching a criminal prosecution may be considered at the stage of arriving at a final decision and this might not be a ground for dismissing a complaint.
The complaint alleged that Irani, in her three affidavits filed before the EC in the Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha elections, had allegedly furnished different details about her educational qualification.
Senior advocate K K Manan, on behalf of complainant, stated that Irani in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls (when she contested from Chandni Chowk constituency) said that she completed her BA in 1996 from the Delhi University (school of correspondence). In another affidavit for contesting the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she stated that her highest educational qualification was B.Com (Part I) from the School of Correspondence, DU.
The complaint also alleges 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 B.Com (Part I) from School of Open Learning, DU. “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,” the complaint alleged.