Details Of PM Degree Not Needed, Says Court, Fines Arvind Kejriwal: Report
New Delhi: The Gujarat High Court today quashed the order directing the Gujarat University to disclose the details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graduation.
The Gujarat High Court fined Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ₹ 25,000 for asking for these details.
Mr Kejriwal has to deposit the money with the Gujarat State Legal Services Commission within four weeks.
Commenting on the order and the fine, Kejriwal tweeted: “Doesn’t the country have a right to know how educated their PM is? They strongly objected to the disclosure of his degree in court. Why? Fine for anyone who asks to see the degree?”
In 2016, responding to a Right to Information (RTI) request, the Central Information Commission directed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Gujarat University and Delhi University to provide information on Prime Minister Modi’s graduation and postgraduate degrees.
The Gujarat University filed a case in the High Court against this order.
PM Modi’s election documents show that he graduated from Gujarat University in 1978 and did his Masters from Delhi University in 1983.
Last month, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued during the hearing that the university should not be compelled to release this information.
“In a democracy, it makes no difference if the incumbent is a doctorate or illiterate. And there is no public interest in the matter. Even his privacy is affected,” said a senior public prosecutor. , insisting that information about the Prime Minister’s titles had no bearing on his role.
“We cannot be asked to provide information to satisfy one’s childish and irresponsible curiosity,” Mr Mehta said.
The Solicitor General also said that the information sought under the RTI Act should be related to public functions. “They can’t ask what breakfast I had. But yes, they can ask how much was spent on breakfast,” he noted.
Mr Kejriwal’s counsel pointed out that educational qualifications were listed in the electoral nomination forms. Percy Kavina said, “We are only asking for the degree certificate.
The court order comes amid an aggressive campaign by Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) highlighting the Prime Minister’s educational qualifications. The party has put up posters targeting Prime Minister Modi in many cities.