File photo of Jitender Singh Tomar being sworn in as Delhi minister
Jitender Singh Tomar, the Delhi Law Minister, has been asked by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to explain allegations that he faked his law degree.
Mr Kejriwal has intervened in the middle of a swirling controversy over a Bihar university's statement in the Delhi High Court that there is no record of Mr Tomar's law degree.
Mr Tomar has rejected opposition calls for his resignation. "A fabricated case based on lies cannot be a reason to resign. My degree is 100 per cent genuine, I have all documents to prove it," he told reporters.
Yesterday, a Bihar university filed an inquiry report in court stating that Mr Tomar's provisional certificate is "fabricated and doesn't exist in the university's record." It also said that the serial number on Mr Tomar's purported certificate threw up a "different person's name from a different stream."
The university has alleged that its records have been tampered with. The court, acting on a petition that says Mr Tomar used a "false and bogus" degree to become an advocate, has asked the minister to respond by August 20.
"The law minister must be sacked," Congress leader Ajay Maken said this morning.
Mr Tomar, 48, is a first time minister. He has faced questions over his educational qualifications since the day he was named part of Arvind Kejriwal's lean team.
A court had earlier asked an Uttar Pradesh college, to confirm Mr Tomar's graduation degree in science, after similar allegations.
"These things were brought to the notice of Arvind Kejriwal by Prashant Bhushan and other leaders. If Arvind Kejriwal fails to remove the law minister and take moral responsibility than day after tomorrow, we will hold a massive demonstration outside the Delhi Secretariat," Mr Maken said.
Jitender Singh Tomar is the second law minister to embarrass AAP.
AAP's previous law minister Somnath Bharti was excoriated last year for his ill-advised midnight raid at a south Delhi colony that targeted Nigerian women.