India arrests justice minister over ‘fake degree’

India arrests justice minister over ‘fake degree’
# 09 June 2015 19:57 (UTC +04:00)

State Minister of Law and Justice Jitendra Singh Tomar appeared in court on Tuesday to be formally charged for forgery. The Delhi High Court later sent Tomar on a four-day police remand.

Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said, “Based on the investigations and prima facie evidence, a case was filed against Tomar and he was arrested for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.”

Prior to Tomar’s arrest, on May 27, 2015, the university where the minister studied law, the Institute of Legal Studies in Munger, filed an affidavit before the Delhi High Court, claiming that Tomar was a “bona fide student” and submitted attested copies of his admission register and marksheets bearing Tomar’s name.

Minister Tomar, himself, has denied the charges against him, and instead, accuses the country’s ruling party of meddling in the affairs of the local Delhi government.

The country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) runs the federal government, which in turn controls the Delhi police force, as well as some of the city’s government organizations.

The Delhi government, however, is run by a different party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The BJP lost general elections to the AAP in India’s capital city earlier this year.

Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claims the BJP is now making efforts to undermine Delhi State’s administration by forcing its senior officials out of their posts.

By the same token, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh called Tomar’s arrest a pressure tactic by the national government.

Singh complained that both “the Delhi police commissioner and the [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi government are trying to scare us with such tactics.”

“However,” he said, “we are not going to be scared.”

Minister Tomar is also a member of Delhi’s Legislative Assembly.