Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar was on Tuesday arrested on charges of cheating and fraud in obtaining his law degree, a development that immediately triggered a strong attack by the ruling AAP against Centre calling it political vendetta.
The arrest of 49-year-old Tomar, MLA from Trinagar and a first time minister, comes in the midst of a running battle between the AAP government and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the powers of the city government, giving it a new political twist.
Police arrested Tomar, who claims a law degree from a University in Bihar which his rivals have alleged is fake, from his house and took him to Vasant Vihar police station for questioning.
Police sources said he has been arrested in the alleged fake degree case in which an FIR was registered against him last night in Hauz Khas Police Station.
He has been accused of cheating, forgery, forgery with purpose of cheating and criminal conspiracy under various sections of IPC.
A police team had gone to Bihar on the direction of High Court to investigate charges that he had obtained a fake degree.
Hauz Khas police station in south Delhi was heavily barricaded and a large contingent of police deployed there.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi refused to respond to queries on the arrest.
“I was in a meeting and I will seek details of his arrest before commenting,” Bassi said.
Soon after the arrest, AAP leaders unleashed an attack on the Modi government against what they claimed was an “illegal and unconstitutional” action against a duly elected MLA and a minister.
Sanjay Singh accused the Centre of using “pressure tactics” against the Delhi government.
“The concerned university has filed its reply in the court. It also recorded the statement that the degrees are genuine. Then why was he arrested?
“The Lt Governor, Delhi Police Commissioner and the Modi government are trying to scare us with such tactics. But we are not going to be scared. Our fight against corruption will continue,” Singh said.
AAP’s Delhi convenor Ashutosh said that the arrest was a conspiracy hatched in the Union Home Ministry on the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former Union Law Minister and Congress leader Veerappa Moily said it was strange that the law minister is a person who had the faced the prospect of arrest on cheating charges.
“Law should take its course,” he said.