Gujarat High Court reserves order on PM Modi’s degree case

The case pertains to order issued by information commissioner, New Delhi directing the university to provide information on the degree of PM Modi under the RTI Act to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: December 28, 2016 12:39 am
modi, pm modi, budget, modi on budget, arun jaitley, jaitley budget, india news, budget 2017, budget announcement, new fiscal budget, business news Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

Lawyers representing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday told the Gujarat High Court that they want to contest the petition moved by Gujarat University (GU) against the order of information commissioner, New Delhi asking the varsity to furnish information on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree on merit. The response came after the varsity lawyers said that it has already published the degree of the Prime Minister on its website.

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Kejriwal is being represented in the High Court by lawyer Rahul Sharma and senior counsel I H Syed. Syed told the division bench led by chief justice R Subhash Reddy that let the single bench decide the original petition moved by the university on its merit and in case he looses the case he could challenge it in the division bench.

The court reserved the order following a brief argument. The case pertains to the order issued by information commissioner, New Delhi directing the university to provide information on the degree of PM Modi under the Right to Information Act to Delhi CM Kejriwal. The university moved before a single bench against the order saying since it was not the party in Delhi and information commissioner doesn’t have jurisdiction and IC’s order be termed illegal.

The single bench had issued notices but didn’t stay the order saying there was no time limit on implementation of the order. However, the varsity moved before a division bench for stay. The division bench led by Chief Justice Reddy stayed the order. Meanwhile, GU made a statement that it has already published PM’s degree on its website and continuing with petition only on the ground of legality of the order under section 8 (e) of RTI act.

During the hearing senior lawyer Tushar Mehta, representing the varsity, argued that “the varsity had already published the degree of the Prime Minister on its website and that it has contested the proceedings only on the grounds and of principles. So that, provisions of RTI act are not abused for oblique purpose.”

The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s counsel Syed argued that let the original petition be heard and decided by the single bench on merits. He also said that the stay can be extended further till the disposal of the petition. “Let the matter go back to the single bench to decide the legality and question of jurisdiction because we have not been heard. I also don’t want my right of appeal to loose,” Syed told the bench.

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