Smriti Irani’s fake degree row: Delhi High Court’s scathing observation


The Delhi High Court on Thursday told the CBSE that if its exam marks are available online now, then it could not claim of right to privacy for previous students.

The court’s observation, as reported by PTI, came during the hearing of a CBSE plea that challenged a Central Information Commission (CIC) direction allowing inspection of Union Minister Smriti Irani’s class 10th and 12th records to an applicant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

“Are all the CBSE marks of students available in the public domain today? If it is possible today, then you cannot say there is a right of privacy qua results of earlier students,” PTI quoted Justice Vibhu Bakhru’s observations.

The court asked CBSE lawyer Anil Soni to take instructions on the factual situation at present and listed the matter for further hearing on 8 March.

The CIC in January last year had dismissed the CBSE’s argument that the educational qualifications were personal information and could not be disclosed adding that Irani’s board exam results be made public. The direction had come from Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, who asked the CBSE to allow the inspection of the minister’s records from Class 10 and 12 boards.

Incidentally, Acharyulu had earlier ordered the inspection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic records before being reportedly removed from the HRD ministry’s charge. Acharyulu was later barred from hearing an appeal linked to educational qualification of  Irani.

The High Court, in November last year, had told the Board that it could not continue to enjoy the stay on the CIC order if it did not inform the RTI applicant, Mohd Naushaduddin, about it.
Although a lower court had dismissed a petition filed by a freelance writer, who requested for Irani’s degrees to be made public, the Delhi University had last year sensationally told that documents related to her educational qualifications were missing.