New Delhi | Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was today arrested on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree, triggering a no-holds barred attack by AAP government which accused the Centre of creating an Emergency-like situation in the city.
49-year-old Tomar, MLA from Trinagar and a first time minister, was arrested at around 11 AM following investigation into a complaint by Bar Council of Delhi that he had obtained a fake law degree from the Institute of Legal Studies College in Munger in Bihar. The arrest came in the midst of a raging battle between the AAP government and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the powers of the city government, giving a new political twist to the murky fight.
Stung by the arrest, AAP unleashed an attack on the Modi Government accusing it of creating an Emergency-like situation in the national capital to avert the Delhi government’s crackdown on corruption. One of the AAP leaders alleged that the arrest conspiracy was hatched in the Union Home Minister’s office at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party would not be cowed down but fight back.
An FIR was registered against Tomar last night in Hauz Khas Police Station and today he was slapped with various sections of IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy. Police first brought Tomar to Hauz Khas police station and later shifted him to the Vasant Vihar police station.
Tomar was interacting with a group of people in his office in Trinagar when about 30-40 policemen took him away on the pretext of getting some documents and then drove him to the Hauz Khas police station, according to his staff. Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said the arrest has been carried within the purview of law and prescribed norms for arresting a Minister were followed.
There are certain procedures which need to be followed while arresting a minister and they have been followed in this case. The complaint had come to us long time back and we have seriously looked into the matter. Action has been taken within the legal framework, Bassi said when his comments were sought on Tomar’s arrest.
However, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh rubbished the AAP charge that the arrest was a conspiracy hatched in his ministry, saying MHA did not order that. The Ministry of Home Affairs does not indulge in such activities. The law takes its own course. There is no interference by the MHA in any such matter, he said in Lucknow.
Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said that the laid- down procedures were not followed and he was not informed about Tomar’s arrest. I was not informed about the arrest, Goel said. Terming the arrest totally unconstitutional, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was an attempt by the Modi government to teach AAP a lesson and asserted that no one involved in corruption will be spared.
Attempts are being made to create an emergency-like situation in Delhi through dictatorship as we have come down hard on those involved in corruption, said Sisodia. Accusing police of treating Tomar as a mafia, Sisodia said they forcibly put him into a car without giving any specific reason and seized his vehicle before bringing him to the police station.
Tomar was arrested as if he was a mafia. Was he running away? Did he set off a bomb? What was the emergency, especially when a scam is being reopened? There’s a deep underlying reason behind his arrest. This is an attempt to teach AAP a lesson. We would not spare anyone who will come in the way of our fight against corruption.
His college affidavit clearly states that he has passed his law degree, Sisodia said. Delhi’s Home minister Satyendra Jain, reacting to the matter, said, It should not have been done like this. The then Union minister of state Nihal Chand’s case is much bigger than this. The fight against corruption is not easy and many more difficulties lie ahead.
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