Central Information Commission allows inspection of DU records

Central Information Commission allows inspection of DU records
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The Central Information Commission has directed Delhi University to allow inspection of records related to all the students who had passed BA degree in 1978, the year in which, according to the University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cleared the examination. 

PM’s degree row

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has directed Delhi University to allow inspection of records related to all the students who had passed BA degree in 1978, the year in which, according to the University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cleared the examination.

The Commission rejected the contention of the Central Public Information Officer of the University that it was a third party personal information, saying it finds "neither merit nor legality" in it. It directed the university "to facilitate inspection of relevant register.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi University's Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) for rejecting an RTI application seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's graduation degree.

The Chief Information Commission, M. Sridhar Acharyulu, in a recent order, pulled up CPIO Meenakshi Sahay of Delhi University and said the rejections reminded him of the saying "penny wise, pound foolish".

The commission was hearing a plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Mohammad Irsad, whose RTI query seeking inspection of Modi's degree was rejected on the ground that the Indian Postal Order (IPO) was not marked in favour of the Registrar of the university.

The commission, directing the "public authority" to recover an amount of Rs 25,000 from the salary payable to Sahay, said that after hearing the story that thousands of rupees had been spent in a legal battle for a postal order of Rs 10, "the proverb 'penny wise, pound foolish' has to be rewritten as 'rupee wise and thousand foolish' ". Sahay in her defence argued that there was no malice in rejecting the RTI application and that she had to follow the policies laid down by the university.

The commission did not find any merit or justification in her argument, stating that the fee was not a material factor to throw out an RTI request. Calling the CPIO's action "pathetic", the commissioner said in the order that "such a simple request for information has been dragged to the level of second appeal, building heaps of documents with multiple files".

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