With the Central Information Commission (CIC) directing the Central Board of Secondary Examination to allow inspection of the Class 10 and 12 school records of Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani, rejecting CBSE’s contention that it constituted “personal information”, Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday welcomed the decision and dubbed it as a ‘perfectly correct order’.
Bhushan told ANI that the people who are in public service, who are MLAs and MPs or ministers should not be reluctant to show their degrees or show the details of their degrees. “I think it is a perfectly correct order. The Supreme Court had itself said that the people of the country have the right to know the educational qualification, criminal antecedents of candidates…And the very fact that they are reluctant and are opposing this shows there is something wrong. In Smriti Irani’s case earlier she had given contradictory claims in her different affidavit about her graduation degree,” he said.
“At one place she said that she is a graduate and at another place she said that she is pursuing her graduation or other course. If she is reluctant to show her school degree then it shows that there is something more than what meets the eye,” he added.
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The office of Union Minister of Textiles and the Holy Child Auxilium School, Delhi, from where Irani claimed to have passed out, have also been directed by the Commission to provide the roll number or reference number of Smriti Zubin Irani to CBSE, Ajmer, which possesses the records for the years 1991 and 1993 “to facilitate search from huge records which is yet to be digitized.” The commission rejected the argument that the information was “personal information” and thus cannot be disclosed. The CIC, on January 8, had directed Delhi University officials to allow the inspection of records of students who had secured their BA degree in 1978, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s. The order, passed by Acharyulu, had dismissed DU Central Public Information Officer Meenakshi Sahay’s denial of an RTI query on the grounds that the information was personal, saying the rejection had “neither merit, nor legality”.