PM’s Degree Row: Gujarat High Court imposes penalty on Arvind Kejriwal

The Gujarat High Court has overturned a 2016 order by the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) directing Gujarat University to disclose information about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The court has imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, which he must deposit with the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority. Justice Biren Vaishnav declined to issue a stay on the judgment.

Gujarat University had challenged the CIC’s order to disclose Modi’s reported MA degree from 1983 to Kejriwal. The university argued that the RTI Act should not be misused to satisfy “childish curiosity” or provide job opportunities to those who are abusing the system.

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“The educational degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are exempted from disclosure under the provisions of section 8(1)(e) and (j) of the RTI Act”, says Gujarat High Court as it sets aside CIC order for furnishing PM’s degree.

“Insistence of Arvind Kejriwal to get the educational degree of PM Modi through RTI route, when the same is already available in the public domain, creates doubt on Kejriwal’s bonafide and motive”, rules the HC.

“ Arvind Kejriwal doubtlessly used an appeal against him to kick start and trigger a controversy not falling within the purview of the RTI Act for the objects and purpose this court need not go into”, the HC said.

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