Activists ask CIC: Why was Sridhar Acharyulu divested of HRD charge after Modi degree order?
The controversy over the "action" taken against Central Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu allegedly for ordering disclosure of the educational qualifications of Prime Minister Narendra Modi isn't over yet.
A group of activists and academics wrote a letter to Chief Information Commissioner RK Mathur on 19 January asking him to make public the reasons for divesting Acharyulu of the charge of the HRD ministry.
In December, Acharyulu ordered the Delhi University to allow inspection of its BA degree records for 1978, the year Modi supposedly graduated from it, and this week he directed disclosure of Textiles Minister Smriti Irani's class 10 and class 12 records.
Soon after his order on Modi's degree, the charge of the HRD ministry was taken from Acharyulu, although he continued to hold charge of the CBSE.
Among those who signed the letter to Mathur are Anjali Bhardwaj, Aruna Roy, Shailesh Gandhi, Nikhil Dey and Amrita Johri. "This decision is being widely perceived as emanating from political interference in the functioning of the CIC, since it was taken within weeks of the commissioner's order allowing for inspection of Delhi University's BA degree records of 1978, the year Prime Minister Modi completed his undergraduate degree as per his affidavit available on the website of the Election Commission of India," the letter read, explaining why the reasons for the decision need to be disclosed.
"This perception is extremely worrying as it compromises the autonomy of the Central Information Commission, which has been set up under the RTI Act as an autonomous and empowered institution to dispose matters relating to peoples' fundamental right to information," the letter stated.
The activists urged Mathur "to place in public domain the reasons for transferring the charge of hearing appeals and complaints related to the Ministry of HRD away from the bench of Prof Acharyulu".