High-profile leaders accused of wrongdoing

The four ministers in trouble are (clockwise from top left) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The four ministers in trouble are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (above), Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.PHOTOS: REUTERS, TWITTER, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The four ministers in trouble are (clockwise from top left) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The four ministers in trouble are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani (above), Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.PHOTOS: REUTERS, TWITTER, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The four ministers in trouble are (clockwise from top left) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The four ministers in trouble are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde (above) and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.PHOTOS: REUTERS, TWITTER, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The four ministers in trouble are (clockwise from top left) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The four ministers in trouble are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (above).PHOTOS: REUTERS, TWITTER, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, 63, has said she helped Mr Lalit Modi get British travel documents on "humanitarian grounds" so he could visit his wife who was undergoing cancer treatment in Lisbon, Portugal, last August.

The businessman's Indian passport was cancelled after he fled India in 2010 following investigations into possible violations of India's foreign funds rules and tax evasion.

Ms Swaraj's daughter has been part of his legal team.

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, 62, is in the news for supporting Mr Modi's immigration plea with the British authorities when she was opposition leader in Rajasthan in 2011. She also reportedly asked that her support for Mr Modi be hidden from the Indian authorities.

The Congress party yesterday accused her of having a business partnership with Mr Modi to convert a palace owned by the government into a luxury hotel. The Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan denied the allegation.

  • Minister for Women and Child Development in Maharashtra state Pankaja Munde, 35, is accused of awarding ministry contracts worth 2 billion rupees (S$21.2 million) without going through the normal price tender system. She denies wrongdoing and says she is open to an investigation. She also accused the opposition of targeting her.
  • Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, 39, is the youngest Cabinet minister in the federal government. She is accused of furnishing fake education claims in affidavits given to the Election Commission.

In 2004 election documents, she wrote that she graduated from Delhi University (DU). But in subsequent documents, she said she completed only the first year of a DU bachelor's commerce course by correspondence.

Last Wednesday, a Delhi court took note of a petition filed by a freelance writer alleging that Ms Irani gave false information about her degrees in the affidavits. The court has agreed to hear the petition in August, opening up her educational qualifications to public scrutiny.

NIRMALA GANAPATHY

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2015, with the headline 'High-profile leaders accused of wrongdoing'. Print Edition | Subscribe