Lucknow/New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Former Delhi law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, arrested for holding an alleged fake degree, was brought to Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. He insisted that he had been framed.
In New Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sources told IANS that its legislator Kapil Mishra would be Delhi’s new law minister. Mishra is the vice chairman of the Delhi Jal Board.
Mishra is a legislator from Karawal Nagar constituency. Tomar quit after his dramatic arrest on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media in Lucknow as policemen looked on, Tomar insisted that he was innocent and that his law degree was genuine. “I have done no wrong and I am a victim of a political conspiracy,” he said.
Tomar was taken to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad to know how he got the degree which the university says is a fake, police said.
A Delhi Police team brought Tomar on board the AC Express. All of them boarded the Farakka Express – boarding the ladies’ compartment – to go to Faizabad.
Tomar was earlier scheduled to be taken to Faizabad by road but the presence of AAP activists at the Lucknow railway station forced the police to change the travel plan at the last minute.
Tomar is on a four-day police remand.
RML Avadh University officials said a probe into the genuineness of Tomar’s degree in the wake of a Right to Information (RTI) query found it to be fake.
University media in-charge S.N. Shukla said their probe found that his alleged roll number 31331 in 1988 was allotted to another student and not to Tomar.
Tomar’s arrest escalated the tensions between the AAP and Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. On Wednesday, AAP leader Ashutosh described Jung as “a villain in Indian democracy”.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to put on hold the union home ministry’s May 21 notification that barred the AAP government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) from acting against the central government officers for criminal offences.
A division bench of Justice S. Murlidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta said a similar matter was pending before another bench and tagged it with that public interest litigation (PIL).
“Vacation bench cannot stay the notification… Let that bench hear it,” the court said.
The PIL filed by advocates R.S. Raju and V. Sudheer challenged the May 21 notification according to which Delhi’s Lt. Governor holds discretionary powers to appoint and transfer key bureaucrats in the capital.
The plea challenged the constitutional validity of the notification.
A power tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung is rooted in the city’s unique position as a union territory functioning as the capital, with the city government having no say over several important departments and agencies that function under the Lt. Governor, who reports to the central government.