Gujarat HC quashes CIC order to provide PM Modi's degree to Arvind Kejriwal; imposes Rs 25,000 fine on Delhi CM
- In Reports
- 07:36 PM, Mar 31, 2023
- Myind Staff
The Gujarat high court on Friday quashed a 2016 order by the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), by which it directed the Gujarat University to supply PM Narendra Modi’s post-graduation degree to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI).
The bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav allowed the appeal filed by Gujarat University challenging CIC’s order on the ground that the same was passed without serving notice to it, Live Law reported.
Notably, the Judgment in the matter was reserved on February 9 after hearing the concerned parties extensively.
The bench also imposed a cost of Rs. 25,000 upon the Delhi CM to be deposited with the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority within 4 weeks. The Court also refused to grant a stay on the Judgment.
The CIC's order was based upon the consideration of an application regarding Kejriwal's electoral photo identity card.
Essentially, during the pendency of the application, Kejriwal wrote to the Commission, criticising it for not being transparent. He further stated that he is ready to provide the required information, but then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also be asked to disclose his degree details to avoid any confusion regarding the PM's educational qualifications.
During the hearing in the case, appearing for Gujarat University, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the RTI Act was being "misused to settle scores and taking a childish jab at opponents". It was also submitted that hat the University had already put the certificate in the public domain. However, the matter was being argued by the University in principle to address the question as to whether RTI Act be applied for extraneous purposes to satisfy someone's curiosity.
"You are a stranger, though highly placed (referring to Arvind Kejriwal)...he might say out of curiosity that I will give my degree but you (PM) also show your degree...this is too childish...Just irresponsible childish curiosity of someone can't be said to be public interest" SG Mehta argued.
Reading out the order of the CIC in question, SG Mehta argued that whether the holder of an office is an illiterate person or is a doctorate, cannot be a matter of public activity.
Image courtesy: Times of India