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Barely two days after Information Commissioner M S Acharyulu’s order allowing inspection of Delhi University’s 1978 BA degree records was made public, Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur has taken away the charge of Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) from him.
According to an order issued Tuesday evening, all complaints and appeals related to HRD Ministry will now be looked into by another Information Commissioner Manjula Parashar.
It is the CIC’s prerogative to assign any subject to any commissioner. The latest order comes just days after another order on December 29 on allocation of work in which Acharyulu had retained the HRD Ministry.
It was on December 21 that Acharyulu had ordered inspection of DU degree records of 1978, the year in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the university, had got his degree.
While Mathur did not respond to calls or text messages sent by The Indian Express, Acharyulu declined to comment.
Last year, the university had denied these records to an RTI applicant, saying that it was the “personal information of the students concerned, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest”.
The Commission, however, said that matters relating to the education of a student — current or former — fall under the category of public interest.
BJP leaders stated last year that Modi had completed his BA in political science from the distance learning programme of the university in 1978. This was later corroborated by Delhi University registrar Tarun Das.
In his order, dated December 21, on the plea of one Neeraj who had sought to know from the university the total number of students who took the BA exam in 1978, their names and those of their fathers, roll numbers and marks obtained. Denying the information, the Central Public Information Officer of the University had said the information requested was “personal information of the students concerned, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest”.
Acharyulu, however, said, “The PIO has not put forward any evidence or explained possibility to show that disclosure of degree-related information infringes the privacy or causes unwarranted invasion of privacy”.