Friday, June 2, 2023

PM degree row: Gujarat High Court quashes CIC order seeking details on Modi’s graduation, postgraduation degrees, imposes Rs 25,000 fine on Delhi CM

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The High Court of Gujarat on Friday quashed the 2016 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC), which had directed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), along with the Gujarat University and the Delhi University to ‘provide’ information regarding graduation and post graduation degrees in the name of Narendra Damodar Modi to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav, while allowing the appeal filed by Gujarat University against the CIC order, observed that the PMO need not furnish the graduation and postgraduation certificate of the Prime Minister.

The Court further imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who sought details of the PM’s degree certificates.

As per Modi, he had completed his graduation from Gujarat University in 1978 and post graduation from Delhi University in 1983.

On February 9, the High Court had reserved its judgment over the CIC order that had directed the public information officer (PIO) of PMO and PIOs of Gujarat University and Delhi University to furnish details of Modi’s graduate and postgraduate degrees.

Appearing for the Universities, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta had argued that while there was nothing to hide, the varsity could not be compelled to disclose the information.

SG Mehta had further argued that the information sought had nothing to do with the PM’s role as a public figure.

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