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Delhi Law Minister JS Tomar arrested on charges of possessing fake degrees

New Delhi: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal accepts Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar's resignation Deputy CM Manish Sisodia confirms resignation.Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar resigned from his post today late in the evening. He said
PTI June 09, 2015 23:23 IST

New Delhi: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal accepts Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar's resignation Deputy CM Manish Sisodia confirms resignation.Delhi Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar resigned from his post today late in the evening. He said that his decision is based on moral ground. " I do not want any negative impact on party or government because of me"  he added.

Earlier in the day Tomar was arrested by Delhi Police and was sent to Police custody for four days by a Delhi Court in the fake degree case. He has sent his resignation to CM Arvind Kejriwal which was accepted in no time.

49-year-old Tomar, MLA from Trinagar and a first-time minister, was remanded to four-day police custody by a city court hours after he was arrested for allegedly forging his science graduation, law mark sheets and a migration certificate.

Investigators said that an FIR was registered and the Law Minister was arrested after nearly a month-long investigation established that the documents he submitted in 2011 to register with the Bar Council of Delhi were fake.  

The arrest came in the midst of a raging battle between the AAP government and Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over the powers of the city government, giving a new political twist to the murky fight.

Parallely, the AAP government and Jung continued their fight over the appoinment of ACB chief and an official who issued the order appointing Delhi Police Joint Commissioner M K Meena to the probe agency.

Stung by the arrest, AAP unleashed a stinging attack on the Modi government accusing it of political vendetta and creating an “Emergency-like” situation in Delhi to avert the city government's crackdown on corruption.

One of the AAP leaders alleged that the arrest“conspiracy” was hatched in the Union Home Minister's office at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party would not be cowed down but fight back.  

Home Minister Rajnath Singh rubbished the charge saying his ministry did not order the arrest which Police Commissioner B S Bassi said was done within the purview of law and after following due procedures.

An FIR was registered against Tomar last night in Hauz Khas Police Station and today he was slapped with charges under sections of IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy.

Tomar was interacting with a group of people in his office in Trinagar when about 30-40 policemen took him away on the pretext of getting some documents and then drove him to the Hauz Khas police station, according to his staff.  

Terming the arrest “totally unconstitutional”, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said it was an attempt by the Modi government to “teach AAP a lesson” and asserted that no one involved in corruption will be spared.  

“Attempts are being made to create an Emergency-like situation in Delhi through dictatorship as we have come down hard on those involved in corruption,” said Sisodia.  

Accusing police of treating Tomar as a “mafia”, Sisodia said they forcibly put him into a car without giving any specific reason and seized his vehicle before bringing him to the police station.

“Tomar was arrested as if he was a mafia. Was he running away? Did he set off a bomb? What was the emergency, especially when a scam is being reopened? There's a deep underlying reason behind his arrest.

“This is an attempt to teach AAP a lesson. We would not spare anyone who will come in the way of our fight against corruption. His college affidavit clearly states that he has passed his law degree,” Sisodia said.

Both BJP and Congress demanded resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal taking moral responsibility.  

In the court, police sought five-day custody of Tomar saying his educational certificates relating to law degree were “fabricated” and he was required to be taken to Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and Bhagalpur in Bihar to ascertain the authenticity of his educational qualifications. However, the court granted four day's custody.

At a press conference, Delhi Police said K S SaketPost-Graduation College in Ayodhya have told the investigators that no B Sc degree and marks sheets were issued in the name of Jitender Singh Tomar.

The police said the Tilkamanjhi University in Bihar's Bhagalpur also termed Tomar's law degree fake. Law College in Bihar's Munger from where Tomar claimed he studied law is affiliated to Tilkamanjhi University.

Meanwhile, amid the latest round of face-off Delhi government's Anti-Corruption Branch reopened a probe into the multi-crore rupee CNG fitness scam on a day it refused to allow an LG-appointed senior Delhi Police official to take charge of the probe agency.

The scam surfaced in 2012 when ACB found that Delhi government had lost over Rs 100 crore by awarding the contract to operate and maintain certification of CNG vehicles at the transport authority in Burari to ESP India Pvt Ltd instead of ESP USA.

The move prompted Najeeb Jung's office to come out with a statement in which it justified his decision not to go for a high-level investigation into the case, citing an inquiry report by Justice Mukul Mudgal committee.  

Earlier in the day, AAP government transferred Home Secretary Dharam Pal who signed a notification appointing Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police M K Meena as new Chief of Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) following orders from Jung.  

However, the appoinment was rejected by the LG.  The AAP government also issued an order withdrawing Meena, appointed by Jung, as chief of ACB. Jung had yesterday appointed Meena to head ACB superseding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's hand-picked man S S Yadav.  

Despite Delhi Government's order, Meena said he was holding charge of the post as he has got the orders from the competent authority.

“I am still holding charge because I have got the orders from the competent authority. We had conducted a meeting with all officers. Our action will be impartial,” said Meena.  

Delhi government sources said ACB began the probe into the 2002 scam following instructions from Manish Sisodia and it is being headed by the agency's current chief S S Yadav.