The “entire country is stunned” by the Gujarat High Court verdict that quashed a Central Information Commission order to Gujarat University to provide information on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree to Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister said on Saturday.
While quashing the CIC’s 2016 order, a single-judge high court bench had on Friday observed that the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s RTI plea appeared “politically vexatious and motivated” instead of being based on “sound public interest considerations”.
Allowing Gujarat University’s appeal against the CIC order — which the high court had stayed in 2016 itself — Justice Biren Vaishnav imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Kejriwal.
“Entire country is stunned by the high court’s order because there should be freedom of seeking information and asking questions in a democracy,” Kejriwal said in Delhi.
Narendra Modi. File photo
“The high court’s order has increased the suspicion over the Prime Minister’s education.... If there is a valid degree (obtained by) Modi, why is Gujarat University not showing it?”
Kejriwal added that lacking formal education was “not a crime or sin” in a poor country. However, he said, his question about Modi’s educational qualifications was important because Modi had to take many important decisions every day.
“If the Prime Minister is not educated, then the officers and various types of people will come and get his signature anywhere, get passed from him anything, like the note ban (demonetisation) because of which the country had to suffer a lot,” he said.
“If Prime Minister Modi was educated he would not have implemented the note ban.”
Then CIC had in April 2016 directed Delhi University and Gujarat University to provide information to Kejriwal on the degrees Modi had earned.