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  • Delhi HC stays CIC order directing DU to disclose PM Narendra Modi's degree

    January 24, 2017

    The Delhi HC on Monday put a stay order on Central Information Commission order, asking Delhi University to allow inspection of records of all students who cleared BA examination in 1978, which includes PM Narendra Modi.

    In its plea challenging the CIC ruling, DU has attacked the commissioner who gave the order to disclose the information saying the "capricious" decision was taken on "extraneous consideration" and in "unexceptionable haste."

    It said the "unwarranted haste shown by the CIC in deciding the matter by granting an empty formality of hearing to the petitioner (DU) shows extraneous considerations have gone into the decision-making process of the CIC, making the impugned order unsustainable..." Dubbing the CIC order as "illegal and contrary to law", the university said it has been "passed by CIC in violation of principles of natural justice", adding that "the CIC in violation of its own established rules...passed the order on the first day of hearing itself."
     
    Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the university and submitted that the CIC order is "arbitrary" and "untenable in law" as the information sought to be disclosed is "third-party personal information.

    The CIC had asked DU to allow inspection while rejecting contention of its Central Public Information Officer that it was third party personal information, saying there was "neither merit, nor legality" in it. Information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu had held that educational qualifications of a student (former/current) fall under the public domain.
     

    OUR TAKE

    Amidst all the speculation and media hype, the real point of filing the RTI is being neglected. We believe that if the Prime Minister is not in the wrong and has nothing to hide then he should go ahead and make the documents public. This would put a quick end to all the unnecessary debates over his credibility and capacity to lead the government.


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