Politics

PM’s degree row: CIC directs DU to allow scrutiny of records

modi

Delhi, 9 Jan: The Central Information Commission has directed Delhi University to allow inspection of records of all BA students of 1978, the year the University says Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cleared his examination.

The issue of 1978 DU degree records emerged after Aam Aadmi Party raised questions about the degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering a controversy.

The Commission has taken the move after rejecting the contention of the Central Public Information Officer of the university which said that it was a third party personal information and found “neither merit nor legality” in it.

CIO directed the university to check the relevant register having all the information on the results of all the students who cleared the Bachelor of Arts exams in the year 1978, along with roll number, candidate’s names, father’s name and marks obtained, and provide certified copy of the extract of relevant pages free of cost.

RTI applicant Neeraj sought to know the number of students who appeared for the 1978 BA exams and the results of all the students.

The Central Public Information Officer of the University had responded that what was being asked was “personal information of the students concerned, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest”.

During the hearing before the Commission, CPIO Meenakshi Sahay expressed that as there are 2,00,000 students  who appeared in “this year’s BA programme, and unless the subject of BA programme is specified, it will be difficult to provide the information asked such as the number of students appeared, failed, passed, etc in the year 1978”.

She also said, 1978 results are not in digitized form and cited difficulty in providing the information thus.

Neeraj said that Delhi University earlier published results on the notice board and at times in newspapers also, which means the information sought was available with the public authority and was published or put in the public domain without any limitations mentioned by the CPIO.

In another case on Prime Minister’s degree, CIC had put a fine of Rs 25000 on the university’s Public Information Officer for denying information under RTI on grounds that the mandatory postal order of Rs 10 was not addressed to the correct authority.

The authenticity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BA degree was first questioned by Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal in May 2016. He had claimed that Modi’s degrees were fake. But BJP rubbished the claims and had produced copies of what they said were the Prime Minister’s degrees.

 Wefornews Bureau

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