Will Quit if Charges are Proven, Says Minister Katheria Accused of Forging His Marksheets

Forged_marksheet_story_650NEW DELHI : RS Katheria, the Junior Education Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, faces charges of forging two university marksheets to land a teaching job at Agra University. He said today, “If the charges are proven, I will not just resign as minister but also as a parliamentarian.”
A forgery case against Mr Katheria, a second term BJP MP, will come up for hearing at a court in Agra in 10 days.In what is allegedly his marksheet from his second year in the Bachelor of Arts programme, Mr Katheria purportedly got 43 marks in Hindi Literature and 42 in English Language. The allegedly forged marksheet shows 53 marks in Hindi Literature and 52 in English Language.
Mr Katheria is also accused of forging his marksheet of his second year in the Master of Arts programme; in the subject Principles of Literary Writing, he purportedly got a 38, but the allegedly forged marksheet says he got 72.The minister had earlier told that the case, filed by a rival Bahujan Samaj Party candidate who lost to him in the 2009 national elections, was a result of political vendetta. He also claimed that he had been given a clean chit by an inquiry conducted by the Uttar Pradesh government under Mayawati.In 2011, the Allahabad High Court had ordered that the Katheria case be disposed of in four months.
Mr Katheria has been charged with cheating and dishonesty under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted, he could get a prison term of up to seven years. Convicted politicians are disqualified from office and are barred from contesting elections for several years after a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year.
This is only one of the 21 cases that Mr Katheria has listed in his election affidavit. He was a key target of the Congress when it attacked the Modi government over the induction of several ministers this week.Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today tweeted, “First Minster HRD and now MOS HRD has given Fraud Mark Sheet ! On top of it RSS wants to change the Text Books and Indian History !”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had retorted that the Samajwadi Party government in UP had slapped criminal cases against all BJP workers in the state.In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court said it trusts the Prime Minister not to include a politician on his team who has faced serious criminal charges.
This is the second row over a marksheet against a minister in the education ministry. Education Minister Smriti Irani had earlier faced a controversy over her educational qualifications as well because two separate affidavits filed by her had discrepancies in them.

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