Smriti Irani: India education minister in fake degree row

Smriti Irani Image copyright AFP
Image caption Smriti Irani, a former television actress, is the youngest minister in PM Narendra Modi's cabinet

A court in Delhi has said it will look into a complaint that India's Education Minister Smriti Irani allegedly lied about her college degree.

The magistrate said he would examine the evidence on 28 August to see if the charges were valid.

The complaint alleges that Ms Irani made contradictory claims about her degree in documents filed in different years with the Election Commission.

The Delhi law minister was arrested earlier this month on similar charges.

Jitender Singh Tomar, who is from the Aam Admi Party (AAP), quit his post after he was accused of forgery and cheating and sent to jail amid allegations his law degree was fake.

Wednesday's court order is being seen as a setback for Ms Irani, a former television actress, who is the youngest minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet. Ms Irani has not yet commented on the specific allegations.

Freelance writer Ahmer Khan, who has brought in the court complaint against her, has accused the minister of "not being honest" in her election affidavits.

His complaint alleges that while contesting the 2004 general election, Ms Irani said she had graduated with an arts degree in 1996 from Delhi University's School of Correspondence.

Mr Khan alleges that while contesting last year's general election, Ms Irani said she had pursued a degree in commerce from the same university.

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