Exam records held in fiduciary capacity : Delhi High Court

The Delhi University (DU) today submitted before the Delhi High Court that the varsity’s BA exam records of all its students of 1978 is held in a fiduciary capacity and cannot be disclosed under RTI.

The submission has been made by the DU in an affidavit which the court has not taken on record as it had earlier closed the varsity’s right to file further replies in the matter.

The affidavit was filed by the varsity in its plea challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) direction to allow inspection of the university’s records of all students who had passed BA examination in 1978.

The CIC had directed the DU to allow inspection of records related to all the students who had passed BA degree in 1978, the year in which, according to the University, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also cleared the examination.

The CIC had rejected the contention of the Central Public Information Officer of the University that it was a third party personal information, saying it finds neither merit, nor legality in it.

The court had on January 23 last year put on hold the operation of the CIC order.

During the hearing today, Justice Rajiv Shakdher said DU will have to first seek recall of the court’s earlier order closing its right to file a reply and thereafter, its submission may be taken on record.

The court also sought DU’s response on an application filed by persons, claiming to be experts in relation to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, seeking to be a part of the proceedings.

With the direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on May 22.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for DU, opposed the plea of the RTI activists seeking to be part of the matter, saying they have “vested interests”.

In the affidavit filed through central government standing counsel Arun Bhardwaj, DU has said that the result of a student once declared is accessible only to that student and is “personal” to her or him.

The varsity has also said that disclosure of exam results of all the students could lead to “public embarrassment” of some or may cause “disturbance” of his/her routine life.

It has also said that a separate mechanism available for other institutions which want to verify the results or degrees of a student who has passed out from DU.

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