Degree row: Delhi court rejects plea to summon Smriti Irani

The court says the complaint was filed to ‘needlessly harass’ Smriti Irani as she was a Union minister


Textiles minister Smriti Irani. File photo: Mint
Textiles minister Smriti Irani. File photo: Mint

New Delhi: In a relief to Smriti Irani, a Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a complaint against her for allegedly giving false information on her educational qualification to the Election Commission, saying it was filed to “needlessly harass” her as she was a Union minister.

Metropolitan magistrate Harvinder Singh said there was a “great delay of around 11 years” in filing the complaint as it rejected the plea to summon her as an accused. “Therefore, prayer for summoning the proposed accused (Irani) is hearby declined,” the court said while pronouncing the order.

In his complaint, freelance writer Ahmer Khan had alleged that Irani, now textiles minister, had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before the Election Commission in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification, despite concerns raised on the issue. Khan had urged the court to take cognisance of the offences alleged in the plea under Section 125A of the RPA and “summon the accused person, Smriti Z. Irani, for trial”.

“After conducting trial hold the acused guilty, convict and sentence the accused person in accordance with law, in the interest of justice to the complainant and also the public at large,”he had prayed.

The court, while declining the prayer, said the original evidence was already lost due to passage of several years and the court needed to be “relieved of the burden of adjudicating such inconsequential claim or case”.

It said the fate of the case could be foreseen as inevitable failure as original evidence was lost due to the “great delay” and the complainant may not have even bothered to file the plea if Irani was not a central minister. “So, where the original evidence has already been lost due to passage of number of years, the secondary evidence available will probably be not able to withstand the test of judicial scrutiny, there is great great delay of around 11 years in filing of the complaint... “The said delay could not be condoned as complainant is not an aggrieved person, the complaint does not appear to have been filed for vindication of majesty of justice and maintenance of law and order, the complaint appears to have been filed to needlessly harass the proposed accused,” the magistrate said.

READ MORE