Smriti Irani, Union Textiles Minister, will not be summoned a Delhi court said today, observing that a petition accusing her of faking a college degree has been filed to “needlessly harass her.” “Complainant may not have filed it if she was not a central minister. Original evidence has already been lost due to passage of years, secondary evidence won’t be enough for court,” Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh said, dismissing the case. He noted “a great delay of 11 years” in filing the complaint. Today’s order comes as big relief for the 40-year-old minister, who was shifted out of the high-profile Human Resource Development Ministry in a cabinet reshuffle a few months ago and was given the textile department, seen as a demotion.
The degree case was filed last year by a man called Ahmer Khan, who accused Smriti Irani of making contradictory statements about her education in affidavits that she filed while contesting different elections.
Mr Khan’s lawyer had said that while Ms Irani had in 2004 said she had a 1996 Bachelor of Arts or BA degree from Delhi University, in later elections she said her highest educational qualification was B.com, Part 1 (correspondence course) from Delhi University.
Mr Khan alleged that the minister deliberately furnished incorrect details, which is punishable by law.
The court had asked the Election Commission and Delhi University to submit details of Ms Irani’s graduation degree, but they both said it could be traced.