Delhi CM Kejriwal’s Plea Denied: High Court Rejects Review on PM Modi’s Degree Controversy

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree. Later, Gujarat University had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal. In response, Arvind Kejriwal had filed a review petition in the high court. Today, the high court has dismissed Kejriwal’s review petition. As a result, Arvind Kejriwal will have to pay a fine of 25,000. The court noted that the Prime Minister’s degree is not available on the Gujarat University’s website. Therefore, Kejriwal’s claim has been rejected.

Kejriwal’s Lawyer Expresses Views on the Case

Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer, Om Kotval, revealed that they had filed a review petition in the court of Justice Biren Vaishnav in the Gujarat High Court. Today, the court has passed an order on the review petition. The review petition was filed based on the argument that the information about the Prime Minister’s degree is not available on the Gujarat University’s website, as claimed by the government. However, the court found the petition to be baseless, and Kejriwal has been fined 25,000.

Case Ongoing Since 2016

The case regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree has been ongoing in the Gujarat High Court since 2016. The high court had given a complete verdict on March 31, 2023, putting an end to the case and stating that the degree should not be disclosed to the petitioner. Additionally, a fine of 25,000 was imposed on Arvind Kejriwal.

Review Petition Filed After the Verdict

Following the complete verdict, Arvind Kejriwal filed a review petition in the Gujarat High Court challenging the damages incurred due to the court’s examination of the records. The petition requested a review of the damages inflicted and emphasized the necessity of a review along with the court’s examination. The court had noticed discrepancies in the examination conducted by the Gujarat University and the Chief Information Commissioner’s office, leading to the damages imposed on Kejriwal.

Notices Issued to Concerned Parties

Justice Biren Vaishnav in the high court had initiated proceedings on this case. Solicitor General had presented evidence online to examine the documents in the case in 2016. Notices were issued to concerned parties, including Gujarat University and the Chief Information Commissioner, by the court for a fair examination.

Demand for Kejriwal’s MA Degree

Kejriwal’s lawyer had previously requested information stating that while there was no record of the Prime Minister’s degree in the court records, the marks were recorded. It was revealed that Kejriwal had a BA degree but had demanded the release of information regarding his MA degree. The court ruled that this information was in the public domain, unlike the Prime Minister’s degree, and questioned the relevance of seeking an individual’s education publicly.

PM’s Degree Publicly Available

In 2016, during the case, Kejriwal was asked through RTI about his demand to know about the Prime Minister’s education. The response indicated that details of every candidate contesting elections should be in the public domain. The government confirmed that the Prime Minister’s degree is publicly available. The government also argued that Kejriwal’s request for Modi’s degree is not justified, and the public disclosure of an individual’s education is not in public interest. This was also confirmed by the court, stating that only Arvind Kejriwal has demanded the Prime Minister’s degree.

Degree Cannot Be Displayed

Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer revealed in the hearing that the degree cannot be shown. He mentioned that admission to the academic program was based on the degree, and there is evidence of performance only in exams, making both aspects different. The Prime Minister’s degree is not available on the internet; the university stated that millions of students have degrees, and they do not retain a copy. However, the university has a record for degree verification on its website. The controversy arose from the High Court’s decision in 2016 that CIC’s decision to disclose Kejriwal’s degree was unnecessary. Kejriwal did not go to the university or the High Court.

No Intensive Investigation in This Case

There hasn’t been a thorough investigation in this case. Even during the hearing of the 2016 case, matters like the ability for individuals to make similar demands were not discussed. The controversy even reached the hearing of the review petition during which the use of the transcript prepared based on the High Court’s live streaming for the CIC’s decision was not considered. Kejriwal’s lawyer stated that there was no intention to create a controversy, and Kejriwal did not go to the University High Court.

Prime Minister’s Degree Issued in 1983

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned that the review petition aimed to keep the reasons behind the issue of the petition related to the matter confidential. Thus, the High Court had instructed not to show Kejriwal the degree. Tushar Mehta revealed that Kejriwal had misused RTI to obtain personal information without permission. Instead of providing information only when required by law, Kejriwal used the information for larger public interest without the authority’s consent. The CIC had instructed Gujarat University to provide the Prime Minister’s 1983 degree without considering whether Kejriwal had the right to seek such information.

How is the PM’s Degree Revealed?

Kejriwal questioned why the government does not disclose the Prime Minister’s degree if his information cannot be made public. Tushar Mehta responded that Kejriwal’s motive was political. Misusing the RTI Act, Kejriwal had sought personal information without the subject’s permission. Except when the authority believes that disclosing information is in larger public interest, no one can provide personal information without the person’s permission. Kejriwal had asked for information like a child in an appeal, and that was not how RTI should be used. The controversy escalated further when the University put the PM’s degree online on May 9, 2016, after the CIC ordered the disclosure on April 29, 2016. It has become a purely political issue, as the PM’s office and the University cannot provide the degree to anyone. When the University stated that the PM’s degree is in the public domain, Kejriwal insisted on accepting it as evidence.

No Penalty Imposed on Kejriwal by the Court

The University has put online information about Part 1 and Part 2 of the PM’s MA degree. While any common man can speak on the road, it should not be said in court. Indeed, in the case of this review petition, the petitioner should be penalized. The court has ordered Kejriwal to be penalized for the controversial petition. The reason for the petitioner was to expose the Prime Minister and the University. The University’s record proves the Prime Minister’s eligibility. The misuse of the RTI Act for political purposes has been condemned by the court. The court listened to both sides, maintained anonymity, and after 39 days, dismissed Kejriwal’s review petition, stating that no penalty should be imposed on Kejriwal.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.