Delhi University has moved the High Court in the national capital challenging the order of the Central Information Commission on making Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree public.
The university, according to India Today, has argued that the degree of a student was a private document adding that its details could not be made public.
The High Court later stayed the CIC order providing the much-needed relief to the prime minister. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva while seeking a response from RTI activist, Neeraj Sharma, also set the next hearing date for 27 April.
Reacting to the news, Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said that he was now convinced that Modi’s degree was fake.
He tweeted, ” Modi’s degree is surely fake. He’s trying his best to conceal it.”
He also termed the HC stay on CIC order ‘unfortunate.’
In a separate tweet, Kejriwal said, “Del HC stay order very unfortunate. People have a right to see their PM’s degree. (sic)”
Del HC stay order very unfortunate. People have a right to see their PM's degree. https://t.co/4lbcHST4nQ
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 23, 2017
The Central Information Commission, on 7 January, had directed Delhi University to allow inspection of records related to all the students who had passed BA degree in 1978, the year in which, according to the University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cleared the examination.
The Commission rejected the contention of the Central Public Information Officer of the University that it was a third party personal information, saying it finds “neither merit nor legality” in it.
It directed the university “to facilitate inspection of relevant register where complete information about result of all students who passed in Bachelor of Arts, in year 1978 along with roll number, names of the students, father’s name and marks obtained as available with the University and provide certified copy of the extract of relevant pages from the register, free of cost….”
Days later, the Central Information Commissioner, Sridhar Acharyulu, who had issued the order was unceremoniously deprived of HRD responsibility.
RTI applicant Neeraj Sharma had sought to know from the University the total number of students who appeared in Bachelor of Arts, Year 1978, besides result of all students who appeared in the examination along with their roll number, name of the students with father’s name, marks and result pass or failed.
Denying the information, the Central Public Information Officer of the University had responded that the information requested is treated as “personal information of the students concerned, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest”.
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, however, said, “With regard to question whether disclosure of such identification related information causes invasion of privacy, or is that unwarranted invasion of privacy, the PIO has not put forward any evidence or explained possibility to show that disclosure of degree related information infringes the privacy or causes unwarranted invasion of privacy”.