The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition seeking a review of its order about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualifications, reported Bar and Bench.
On March 31, the High Court had quashed a 2016 directive of the Central Information Commission asking the Gujarat University to provide details about Modi’s degrees to Kejriwal. The Central Information Commission is the top appellate body under the Right to Information Act.
The Gujarat University had opposed the order in the High Court, saying that someone’s “irresponsible childish curiosity” cannot be deemed to be in the public interest under the Right to Information Act.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the university, had claimed in March that there was nothing to hide as information about the prime minister’s degrees was already in the public domain.
However, Kejriwal’s review petition contended that the details are not uploaded on the university’s website and only a document referred to as “office register” is displayed, reported The Indian Express.
The March verdict, the Aam Aadmi Party leader added, “suffers from the error apparent on the face of the record and permitting them would lead to failure of justice”.
But Justice Biren Vaishnav, who passed the earlier order, on Thursday observed that it cannot be said that Kejriwal sought legal remedy purely with a view to seek recourse.
“The review applicant having lost in his legal remedy as the main petition was allowed, he continues to harp upon his pursuit in following a cause by proceeding in this review application in a manner which does not reflect good taste in public life,” the judge added.
He said that the court’s decision to impose a penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Delhi chief minister was justified since he tried to politicise the entire issue and misused the law, reported Bar and Bench.
Following the March judgement, the Gujarat University filed a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, alleging that they had made derogatory statements about Modi’s educational qualifications.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has claimed that Modi was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Delhi University in 1978 and a Master of Arts degree from the Gujarat University in 1983. However, the Aam Aadmi Party has alleged that the degrees are fabricated.