Sparking a fresh row between the Delhi government and the Centre, Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar was arrested on Tuesday for submitting fake degree certificates to the Bar Council of Delhi.
Tomar later submitted his resignation saying that he did not want to affect the image of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the government.
His resignation from the Delhi government was accepted by Chief Arvind Kejriwal and will be forwarded to Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday morning, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
He had reportedly submitted fake BSc and LLB degrees before the Bar Council of Delhi to register as advocate in 2011.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 49-year-old was also produced before a court, which sent him to four days’ police custody.
Tomar was held over a probe initiated on a complaint by Bar Council of Delhi Honorary Secretary Punit Mittal.
The complaint was filed before DCP (South) Prem Nath on May 11.
The arrest has led to a fresh row in the national capital, which has been witnessing a power tussle between Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Delhi government and the AAP leaders cried foul, dubbing it as “vendetta politics”. Sisodia hit out at the Centre accusing it of creating an emergency-like situation in the capital.
“They are creating such a situation in order to bring the Anti-Corruption Branch under their jurisdiction,” Sisodia said. AAP leaders and volunteers also protested outside Vasant Vihar police station where Tomar was taken.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his ministry did not order the arrest.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) does not indulge in such activities.
The law takes it own course. There is no interference by the MHA in such matters,” he said. Tomar told the media that around 30-40 policemen along with an ACP came to his office and he had no other option but to go with them.
“Around 30 to 40 policemen came to my office and said that they wanted to speak to me and would talk at my place. I have not been served any arrest warrant. I have not been given any details. They are not giving any details, they are harassing me. This is a political vendetta,” said Tomar.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said: “We have followed all guidelines while making the arrest. We got a complaint from Bar Council of Delhi. It was found that the documents and certificates produced seemed to be forged and based on this complaint we formed teams to look into the matter.”
The police also rubbished claims by Aam Aadmi Party ministers that Tomar was not issued a notice. “The accused was given a notice. The FIR was registered on June 8,” said Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra.