Delhi State Election Commission told a court in the city on Saturday that the original affidavits and some other documents, filed by candidates who had contested 2004 Lok Sabha poll from Chandni Chowk, including Union Minister Smriti Irani and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, were “not traceable”.
The poll panel, however, said that this information was available on its website.
The submission was made by the official in pursuance to court’s order which had sought records regarding educational qualifications of Irani, against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.
“The original election forms and affidavits of all candidates who contested Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk in 2004 are not traceable despite best efforts. However, their photocopies are available on the commission’s website,” the poll panel official told Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh.
An affidavit was also filed by the official regarding the information furnished by Irani while contesting 2004 elction.
Meanwhile, the court completed recording of statement of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, and posted the matter for further hearing on August 27.
The court had on November 20 last year allowed the plea of complainant seeking a direction to the officials of EC and Delhi University to bring records of Irani’s qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court.
The complainant had claimed that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel in 2004, 2011 and 2014 and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.
Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualifications in affidavits filed before EC and that a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details could be punished under provisions of IPC and under section 125A of Representation of the People Act (RPA).
Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both.
The court had on June 24 last year taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.
The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.
The complaint also alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning, DU.