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Delhi Court takes cognizance on a Criminal Complaint against HRD Min. Smriti Irani

June.24,2015: A Delhi court on Wednesday took cognizance of the complaint filed against Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani. The complainant had alleged that Irani filed “false information” with the Election Commission regarding her educational qualification.

Criminal Complaint against HRD Min. Smriti Irani
Criminal Complaint against HRD Min. Smriti Irani

Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain on Wednesday  fixed August 28 for pre-summoning evidence in the case where the complainant has alleged that prima facie offence under 125 A of Representation of People Act, 1951 is made out against Irani. 

Section 125A.Representation of People Act, 1951 provides

Penalty for filing false affidavit, etc.—A candidate who himself or through his proposer, with intent to be elected in an election,—

(i) fails to furnish information relating to sub-section (1) of section 33A; or

(ii) give false information which he knows or has reason to believe to be false; or

(iii) conceals any information, in his nomination paper delivered under sub-section (1) of section 33 or in his affidavit which is required to be delivered under sub-section (2) of section 33A, as the case may be, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both

As per Criminal Procedure Code Complainant will now examine himself under Section 200 CrPC besides examining his other witnesses U/S 202 CrPC. The decision to summon the Minister as an Accused would be taken thereafter upon hearing Complainant's arguments over the same.

The complaint filed by freelance writer Ahmer Khan 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.

Arguing before the court, senior advocate K K Manan, counsel for Khan,  had earlier stated that Irani in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls said that she completed her BA in 1996 from 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 Bachelor of Commerce 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.

“The aforesaid affidavits of Smriti Irani, apart from the ostensibly false and discrepant statements in respect of her educational qualifications, also appear to contain false/discrepant statements in respect of immovable properties owned by her and other details set out by her,” Khan alleged in his plea.

“The aforesaid facts and circumstances reveal commission of offences by accused under section 125A of Representation of People Act, 1951, besides any other offences that may attract other penal provisions as an outcome of an additional investigation,” the plea alleged. 

Links to Election Laws in India-

 

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