New Delhi, Apr 01, 2023: A day after the Gujarat High Court fined Arvind Kejriwal and ruled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree details were not needed, the Delhi Chief Minister doubled down on his charge.
Arvind Kejriwal said the Gujarat High Court order raises a lot of questions over the Prime Minister’s education. "It’s important that the Prime Minister has to be educated because he has to take a lot of decisions," Mr Kejriwal said.
"There can only be two reasons why Gujarat University is not ready to give information on the Prime Minister’s academic qualification - it’s either due to the his arrogance, or, his degree is fake, he alleged.
The high court yesterday set aside an order to the Gujarat University to reveal details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degrees.
Gujarat High Court Justice Biren Vaishnav also fined Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ₹ 25,000 for asking for these details when they are already in public domain. The court asked him to deposit the fine within four weeks.
"The insistence of Arvind Kejriwal to get the educational degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through RTI route, when the same is already available in the public domain, creates doubt on Kejriwal’s bonafide and motive," Justice Vaishnav said.
He further observed, "Arvind Kejriwal doubtlessly used an appeal against him to kickstart and trigger a controversy not falling within the purview of the RTI Act for the objects and purpose this court need not go into".
In 2016, responding to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s RTI (Right to Information) request for details on the Prime Minister’s education, then Central Information Commission M Sridhar Acharyulu directed the Gujarat University and Delhi University to furnish information on PM Modi’s graduation and post-graduation degrees.
The Gujarat University put up PM Modi’s degree on its website immediately, but at the same time, challenged the Information Commission’s order as a matter of principle.
Last month, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Gujarat University, contended before the high court that the two universities should not be compelled to disclose the information.
"We cannot be asked to furnish the information to satisfy someone’s childish and irresponsible curiosity," Mr Mehta said.
The court order adds to the controversy over AAP’s aggressive campaign highlighting the PM’s education.
The BJP accused Mr Kejriwal of "peddling lies" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "What Mr Kejriwal is doing reflects his frustration. He is naturally frustrated as his government ministers are in jail on charges of corruption and being involved in a liquor scam," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.