The official had informed the applicants that they had to make the POs in favour of the Registrar of DU.
New Delhi: In a new twist in the degree row, the Delhi high court stayed three separate CIC orders imposing Rs 25,000 penalty on Delhi University’s public information officer for rejecting RTI applications seeking facts about the graduation degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva observed that the RTI applicants “wasted judicial time” by filing “frivolous” pleas before the Central Information Commission (CIC) for rejection of their applications on technical grounds, instead of addressing the deficiencies pointed out by the central public information officer (CPIO) of Delhi University (DU). CPIO had rejected the three RTI queries on the ground that the `10 Postal Order (PO) meant for fees for providing the information was blank in one and in the other two cases, they were made out in favour of the CPIO.
The official had informed the applicants that they had to make the POs in favour of the Registrar of DU and against the rejection on this ground, the applicants had moved CIC.
“Only for a matter of Rs 10, see how much judicial time has been wasted. Especially when the IPO was blank, CPIO could not have filled it up as it would amount to tampering with the record,” the court said while staying the three orders of CIC. It also issued notice to the RTI applicants in all three matters and listed them for hearing on April 27. According to DU’s pleas, in the matter pertaining to Irani, applicant R.K. Jain had left the PO blank, leaving it to the CPIO to fill it up in whose favour it had to be made. In the other two matters, the POs were made out in favour of the CPIO, who had returned the applications within a few days asking the applicants to make the POs favouring the DU Registrar.