RTI Has Been Reduced To A Joke : DU On RTI Queries Relating To Reveal PM Modi & Smriti Irani’s Degrees

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the University of Delhi before the Delhi High Court, claimed that the Right to Information (RTI) has been reduced to a joke. The matter was regarding the submission of queries seeking records of all those students who had passed BA examination in 1978. These also include the records of the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to a story published by NDTV, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “The RTI has been reduced to a joke with such queries. Degrees of two public functionaries were sought. One is the honourable prime minister and the other is a minister.” Justice AJ Bhambhani, before whom the submission was made, fixed the matter for further hearing on 4 February, when petitions with similar queries will also be heard.

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“This Act cannot be used for some extraneous reasons”, the law officer stated, referring to some of the provisions of the Right To Information Act. He was of the view that personal information is never to be giving until and unless there is some public interest attached.

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The order issued by the Central Information Commission (CIC) allowing inspection of records related to students who passed BA degree in 1978, has been challenged by the Delhi University. The disagreement of the central public information officer of the Delhi University has been rejected by the CIC, saying it finds “neither merit, nor legality’ in it and has also stated that it was a third party personal information. Standing counsel Arun Bharadwaj, through an affidavit filed through the central govt. had earlier said that the result is a personal information of a student, and it should not be accessible to anyone.

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The court had on January 23, put on hold the operation of the CIC order. The university is of the view that result should not be provided to anyone as this may cause “public embarrassment” or may cause “disturbance” in the daily routine of the student and that the information was held in fiduciary capacity and was exempt from being disclosed under the RTI Act.

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