India says state law minister arrested for fake law degree
Police said they arrested the New Delhi state law minister Tuesday for allegedly holding a fake degree in law and registering as an attorney in the Indian capital, a move strongly condemned by the minister’s party.
Jitendra Singh Tomar faces charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forging documents, said police spokesman Rajan Bhagat. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to seven years.
According to Bhagat, Tomar said he obtained a law degree from a university in Bihar state, but police found it to be fake. The Bar Association of New Delhi registered a police complaint against Tomar on Tuesday.
Several Indian politicians, including some in the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, face similar charges.
Tomar belongs to the Aam Admi Party, or Common Man Party, formed by anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP won a massive victory in elections in New Delhi earlier this year, defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP.
Tomar’s arrest was strongly condemned by his party leaders, including Manish Sisodia, who said police should have waited for a verdict by the New Delhi High Court, which is hearing a petition against him and has summoned university records.