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Smriti Irani urges DU to take back staff suspended for leaking her undergrad documents

New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) : Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has asked Delhi University to “reinstate” five non-teaching staff members who were suspended for allegedly leaking documents relating to her undergraduate admission and admit card following a row over her educational qualifications on Saturday.

Irani said that in public life one should be open to scrutiny and criticism. “So am I,” the Minister said on microblogging site Twitter.

She said that “since Delhi University is an autonomous institution, I have put forth my personal appeal to the Vice Chancellor to reinstate the officials”.

University sources had said on Friday that its School of Open Learning has suspended five persons on the suspicion that they entered a confidential domain and accessed documents, which were leaked.

Those suspended are a section officer and four officials below him in hierarchy. An inquiry has been initiated against them, they said.

Meanwhile, the Congress attacked the Narendra Modi government over the suspension of the officials.

“Five officials of Delhi University suspended for leaking HRD Minster's educational qualification details! Does this Govt believe in transparency,” party general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted.

Taking another potshot at the government, he said, “achhe din aa gaye hein. Would anyone stand up for the suspended officials of DU ?”

After Irani sought revocation of the suspension, Singh quipped, “Thanks Smriti for appealing to VC DU for reinstating DU officials. Now let people of this Country know your actual Educational Qualification”.

Sources said the officials have admitted to SOL's Director Chandra Shekhar Dubey to leaking the documents.

Irani is at the centre of a raging controversy over her educational qualification after it emerged that she had made contradictory declarations when she contested Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2014.

Congress had launched a broadside against her questioning her ability to deliver as HRD minister as she was “not even a graduate”.

Irani had said “extraneous circumstances” were created to deviate her attention from work and asked the people to judge her by her work.