The Delhi University on Tuesday told a New Delhi court that the documents pertaining to Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani’s BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, are yet to be found.
The university's response came in pursuance to court’s earlier order summoning documents from its School of Open Learning department on the allegation that in her affidavit for April 2004 polls, Irani had claimed that she completed her BA in 1996.
“1996 documents related to her (Irani) BA are yet to be found,” assistant registrar of School of Open Learning, DelhiUniversity, O P Tanwar, told Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh.
Tanwar also brought some documents related to Irani’s education, including admission form for B.Com (honours) of 1993-94 and its result and further her enrollment cum admission form in BA (honours) political science first year for 2013-14.
He said that Irani’s Class XII documents, submitted with the admission form of BCom (honours) course were yet to be found. He, however, added that ‘verification must have been done before the admission’.
The court also asked Sub-Divisional Magistrate of north Delhi to bring documents filed by Irani with the affidavit for contesting 2004 polls from Chandni Chowk constituency in New Delhi and fixed the matter for further hearing on June 6.
The court had earlier directed the Election Commission and DU to bring the documents related to educational qualification of Irani on a complaint filed against her for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.
The court had on November 20 last year allowed the plea of the complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking a direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring records of Irani’s educational qualification after he said he was unable to place them before the court.
During the hearing, Vandita Srivastava, SDM of Gauriganj in Amethi, filed original and certified copies of documents filed by Irani during Lok Sabha elections 2014 and said ‘as per record, no document for (Irani’s) educational qualification was collected with nomination form’.
The court also took on record the original and certified copies of documents filed by Irani pertaining to Irani’s Rajya Sabha nomination in Gujarat in 2011.
Deputy Secretary of Gujarat assembly S M Menon filed the documents summoned by the court regarding Irani’s Rajya Sabha nomination and informed it that ‘a candidate need not to file supporting documents at the time of filing nomination’.
“However, if any objection is raised by anyone, candidate can be asked to file such documents,” he said.
The court had earlier declined the complainant's prayer seeking direction to the Central Board of Secondary Education to bring Irani's Class X and XII records.
The complainant had claimed that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information of her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.
Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before EC and that a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details can be punished under the provisions of Indian Penal Code and under Section 125A of Representation of the People Act.
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.
The court on June 24 last year had taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.
The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.
He had also alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.