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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree case took a new turn yesterday with three RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey and Amrita Johri filing an intervention application to assist the court in determining the importance of right to information in such cases.
The University of Delhi had approached the Delhi High Court against the 2016 order of the Central Information Commission which had allowed inspection of Delhi University’s 1978 BA degree records.
The varsity challenged the order on the ground that it violated the RTI Act’s provision pertaining to privacy [Section 8(1)(j)] and that it is in possession of the information being sought in a fiduciary capacity under section 8(1)(e) of the Act.
The intervention application by the RTI activists asks the Court to dismiss the petition as it has been filed on an incorrect premise. The application states that the varsity has misrepresented the provisions of the Right to Information Act and the factual position of law.
It was also argued by the Activists that,
“The applicants would also like to bring to the attention of this Hon’ble Court the critical importance of the right to access the information under question in larger public interest and in tackling large-scale fraud, and corruption in terms of fake degrees or misrepresenting information about one’s academic qualifications.”
CIC in its order had allowed to facilitate the inspection of relevant register where complete information about result of all students, who have passed in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), in the year 1978 along with roll number, names of students, father’s name and marks obtained is available and provide certified copy of the extract of pages from the register under the Right to Information Act 2005.
Appearing for the University, ASG Tushar Mehta opposed the intervention application and stated that the activists were only intervening to gain publicity. The Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher listed the matter for further hearing on August 23.
Read Intervention Application below.