Published: 18th November 2022
Plea against order allowing inspection of 1978 DU records to be heard by Delhi HC on May 3, 2023
CIC ordered Delhi University (DU) to permit the inspection of records of all students who had passed the BA exam in 1978
The Delhi High Court has postponed the hearing on a Delhi University petition challenging the Central Information Commission's order directing them to permit inspection of records of all students who had passed the BA exam in 1978, the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi also cleared it, until May 3, 2023, stated a report by PTI.
On January 23, 2017, the high court issued a stay on the Commission's order that was dated December 21, 2016. In an order dated November 15, Justice Yashwant Varma noted that no one represented DU and postponed the hearing on the matter. "Consequently, let these matters be called again on 03.05.2023," the court said.
In addition to DU's challenge of the Central Information Commission (CIC) decision, the court was also hearing other petitions that highlighted similar legal concerns about disclosing specifics of the examination's results. In response to activist Neeraj's request for information under the Right to Information Act (RTI) on students who participated in the Bachelor of Arts examination at DU in 1978, the CIC issued its ruling, stated the report.
In its challenge to the CIC order, DU has contended that the order of the RTI authority is "arbitrary" and "untenable in law" as the information sought to be disclosed is "third-party personal information."
DU said in its plea that "it was completely illegal for the CIC to direct the petitioner (DU) to disclose information which is available to it in its fiduciary capacity, that too without rendering any finding pertaining to any pressing necessity or overwhelming public interest warranting disclosure of such information on account of overwhelming/larger public interest sought to be achieved through such disclosure," as reported by PTI.
The PTI report also stated that the CIC ruling, according to DU, has "far-reaching adverse consequences for the petitioner and all universities in the country which hold degrees of crores of students in a fiduciary capacity." DU had previously informed the court of this. It said that requests for details of all students who had completed the BA exams in 1978, including Prime Minister Modi, had transformed the RTI Act into a "joke".
In its order, the CIC had requested that DU allow inspection while rejecting the contention of its Central Public Information Officer that it was third-party personal information, saying there was "neither merit nor legality", in it. It had directed the university to facilitate inspection of the relevant register where complete information about the result of all students who passed in Bachelor of Arts in the year 1978 along with roll number, names of the students, fathers' names and marks obtained as available with the University and provide a certified copy of the extract of relevant pages from the register, free of cost, as reported by PTI.