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KEYWORDS:- Gujarat University, Arvind Kejriwal, PM Modi, Chief Information Commission, Gujarat High Court, Justice Biren Vaishnav

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday said that the costs of 25,000 Rs. imposed on Arvind Kejriwal in case which is related to the academic degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is justified since the Chief Minister of Delhi tried to politicise the entire issue and misused the Right to Information Act. (Arvind Kejriwal v. Gujarat University)

Single Judge, Justice Biren Vaishnav observed that the submission made by the Gujarat University which argued that the RTI Act was misused as it was used as a tool to seek information which was otherwise excepted under law.

Justice Vaishnav while justifying the costs on the Kejriwal said that being a respondent in to proceeding before the CIC, the language of the the letter submitted by the applicant indicates the systematic design has made in order to divert and misdirect the proceedings at the hands of Neeraj Sharma where information concerning applicant was asked. It is evident from the letter that the applicant has tried to deflect the entire proceedings in order to politicise the entire issue and, therefore, this was clearly an abuse of the process of the RTI machinery.

These observations were made while rejecting a review petition filed by Kejriwal against the judgement of the High Court which held that Gujarat University need not require to furnish any information about the academic degree of PM Modi.

Kejriwal filed the review petition to Chief Information Commission (CIC) after the High Court Order. CIC directed that details of academic degree of PM Modi be furnished. The CIC order was passes on an application made by the Kejriwal under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).

After the order of CIC to Gujarat University regarding the disclosure of these details, the varsity filed an appeal before the Gujarat High Court and challenged the CIC Decision. The High Court allowed the appeal of varsity and imposed the fine of Rs. 25,000 on Kejriwal for making jeering of the RTI Act. Subsequently, Kejriwal filed an application asking for the review of this judgement.

The Court observed one of the grounds in the review plea which was that the University had just placed an office register which shows the conferment of the degree but, not the degree itself.

The Judge in this context, said that, the register is a document which reflects the conferment of degree in question. Furthermore, the bench agreed with the Solicitor General Tuhsar Mehta and opined that Kejriwal just wanted to keep the issue alive even though there is a contemporaneous record in the form of office register showing the qualification of the Prime Minister.

The Court dismissed the review plea and held that the review petition of the applicant have lost his legal remedy as the main petition was allowed, he continues to harp upon his pursuit which does not reflect good taste in public life.

Kejriwal Represented by Senior Advocate Percy Kavina and Advocate Aum Kotwal.

Gujarat University was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta with advocates Kanu Agarwal, Jash Thakkar and Dharmishta Raval. And the Union Government was represented by Additional Solicitor General Devang Vyas and advocate Kshitij M Amin.

Written by:- Dolly Singh Gehlot, College:- BM Law College, Jodhpur, Semester:- 5th an intern under Legal Vidhiya

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