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‘PM Modi’s degree available on media, such requests make a mockery of RTI Act’: Gujarat HC pulls up Arvind Kejriwal in Modi degree row

Coming down hard on Arvind Kejriwal, the court said PM Modi's degree certificates were available on media, social media, and on the University website, adding that the respondent (Arvind Kejriwal) never questioned the authenticity of the degree during the pendency of the proceedings or even during the final hearing.

The Gujarat HC on Friday came down heavily against Arvind Kejriwal and quashed a 2016 order by the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), by which it directed the Gujarat University to supply Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s post-graduation degree to Delhi chief minister under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

The court said PM Modi’s degree certificates were available on media, social media, and on the University website, adding that the respondent (Arvind Kejriwal) never questioned the authenticity of the degree during the pendency of the proceedings or even during the final hearing. The court also fined Arvind Kejriwal Rs 25,000 and concluded that there has been an indiscriminate misuse of the salutary provisions of the RTI Act.

“In the present case, the manner in which a request came from Respondent No.2 who was neither an Applicant nor an appellant and was merely a respondent before the CIC leaves much to be desired. Such requests cannot be made so casually making a mockery of the very intent and purpose of the RTI Act,” the court witheringly noted.

The court further added that documents including degrees fall within the personal information of a citizen, which is exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.

The Solicitor General of India slammed Arvind Kejriwal, terming his irresponsible requests and mechanical exercise of statutory powers thereafter that the very heart and soul of the Right to Information Act is destroyed and some individuals abuse the provisions of the Act either out of curiosity or at times even for some oblique purpose and for achieving some collateral objects.

The Gujarat High Court ruled that Prime Minister’s Office is not required to furnish the graduate and post-graduate degrees of PM Modi. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi CM Kejriwal for seeking the details about PM Modi’s degree certificates. Kejriwal has been given four weeks to deposit the amount with the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority. Besides, the court also refused to grant a stay on the judgment. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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