June,9,2015: Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was on Tuesday arrested on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree, a development that immediately triggered a strong attack by the ruling AAP against Centre calling it political vendetta.
PTI reported that the police arrested the 49-year-old AAP leader from his house on Tuesday morning and took him to Vasant Vihar police station for further questioning. Tomar was arrested on the basis of a criminal complaint filed by the Bar Council of India. A FIR had been filed against Tomar at 3.30 am on Tuesday.
A police team had earlier gone to Bihar on the direction of High Court to investigate charges that Tomar had obtained a fake degree.
Tomar has been charged under various IPC Sections including 420 (cheating). Tomar had said, "I am with some Inspectors who are taking me to the Hauz Khas police station without any notice."
He added that 30-40 police officers had come to his office to take him to the police station. "This is being done to tarnish the image of the AAP. This is political harassment," Tomar said.
AAP leader Ashutosh also said that the Delhi police officials slapped Tomar when he was in their custody and tried to force him to sign some papers.
"Delhi police officials manhandled me and Kumar Vishwas too," Ashutosh said.
"In the morning, the police officers came, shoved Tomar's driver out of the way and took control of the steering wheel of his car," he said. "Then, they drove Tomar around the city before taking him to the police station."
Ashutosh also said, "There is an emergency-like situation in Delhi. BJP is trying to de-stabilise the government."
Kumar Vishwas also reacted to Tomar's arrest and said, "You cannot arrest a minister like he's a terrorist."
Another AAP leader Sanjay Singh accused the Centre of using "pressure tactics" against the Delhi government.
"The concerned university has filed its reply in the court. It also recorded the statement that the degrees are genuine. Then why was he arrested?
"The Lt Governor, Delhi Police Commissioner and the Modi government are trying to scare us with such tactics. But we are not going to be scared. Our fight against corruption will continue," Singh said.
Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi said he had no information about the minister's arrest.
After he was produced in the Court, Delhi law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was sent to four-day police custody on Tuesday for allegedly forging his law degree.
The Aam Aadmi Party to liken the move to an “Emergency-like situation” and further souring the city government’s already strained ties with the Centre.
A team of about 40 policemen swooped in on the Tri Nagar MLA’s office and took him away around 11am, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said. He alleged the incident was a case of political vendetta because the Centre wanted to teach the AAP a lesson though the case was being heard by the Delhi high court.
"The police told Tomar they had come to see some documents. They asked him to accompany them to his house. On the way, they told his driver to get off and took charge of his vehicle and told him he was being detained,” said a livid Sisodia. "What is going on? Was he (Tomar) running away? Did he explode bombs in Delhi?"
Tomar’s arrest is the latest in a string of controversies engulfing the young party that rode a tidal wave of support to victory in Delhi but has lurched from crisis to crisis since, with each episode chipping away at its credibility.
Police said the 49-year-old minister was charged with cheating, forgery and criminal intimidation with an FIR filed on a complaint by the Bar Council of Delhi. In a late evening press conference, it also defended the arrest, saying it was in accordance with law and made after discrepancies were found in the minister’s roll number.
The AAP, however, came out all guns blazing with senior leader Ashutosh alleging the arrest was a home ministry conspiracy hatched at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But home minister Rajnath Singh rubbished these charges, saying his ministry hadn’t ordered the arrest. "The ministry of home affairs does not indulge in such activities. The law takes it own course," Singh said.