PM degree: Gujarat HC adjourns hearing on Kejriwal’s appeal against quashing of CIC order


PTI, Dec 21, 2023, 3:58 PM IST

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal against a single bench order setting aside the Central Information Commission’s directive to the Gujarat University to provide information about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational degree.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P Mayee adjourned till January 11 the matter after Kejriwal submitted that senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is set to represent him in the case, was not able to connect online due to a network issue.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the respondents, expressed displeasure at such a request coming at the last minute, but agreed.

Singhvi, who appears in this matter, was facing some network issue. He requested for the matter to be adjourned till the first week of January, lawyer Aum Kotwal, who represented Kejriwal on Thursday, told the court.

Chief Justice Agarwal said the court will decide on Kejriwal’s condonation of delay application, which was listed for hearing Thursday, together with his appeal on January 11.

In November, a single judge bench of the high court had rejected Kejriwal’s petition seeking a review of its earlier order setting aside the CIC’s directive to the Gujarat University to provide information about the PM’s educational degree.

At that time, the court justified the cost imposed on the AAP leader while saying that he “tried to politicise the whole issue” and “abused” the process of Right to Information (RTI).

Kejriwal had filed the plea in June seeking a review of the single bench’s order setting aside the CIC’s directive to the Gujarat University and imposing a cost or fine of Rs 25,000 on him.

Solicitor General Mehta, who appeared before a single judge’s bench in the matter earlier, also came from Delhi to oppose the appeal in the high court on Monday, a statement from his office said.

“Today in the Gujarat High Court, before the matter is even called out in the court of the Chief Justice, Kejriwal asked for an adjournment to everyone’s surprise,” it said.

“Kejriwal’s lawyer sought time even before the board started. The Solicitor General expressed displeasure at such a request coming at the last minute but gracefully agreed,” the statement said.

Kejriwal sought a last minute adjournment to bring Abhishek Manu Singhvi, “a big and expensive lawyer from Delhi,” the SG office further said.

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