According to the RTI Act, while the consent of the OBC students can be sought, the ultimate decision on whether or not to give the information rests on the Information Officer of JNU. The act says, “Provided that except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party.” The authority is supposed to make this judgment within forty days of filing of the RTI. In this case the Information Officer of JNU has to take the final decision. When a joint delegation of many organizations met him, he accepted that the decision and responsibility is ultimately his.
In the name of adhering to the letter and spirit of the RTI Act, JNU administration has shown remarkable promptness and readiness to provide the personal details of OBC students. Over the course of the struggle to implement 27% OBC reservation, we have seen how this administration has time and again taken extremely reactionary and casteist positions. Even when the historic Delhi high court judgment rejected the Administration’s faulty criteria of ‘merit’ cut-off which denied admissions to many OBC students, and instructed the Administration to bring out a fresh list of OBC students, the JNU administration did not show even 1% of the promptness and readiness they are showing right now. With administration clearly taking sides and parroting the logic of reactionary forces like YFE, the entire progressive sections of JNU community, including members of faculty came together to force this administration to implement 27% OBC reservation over a three-year long struggle. Still with the slightest of pretexts this administration tries and scuttles the whole process.
We have no reason to trust this JNU administration, which is communal, casteist to the core. Given the casteist and reactionary track record of JNU administration in the implementation of 27% OBC resevation and in absence of any satisfactory clarification that why such information is being sought and by whom, DSU appeals to OBC students to reject this farcical letter sent to them seeking their permission with resounding NO! DSU also appeals to the entire student community to come together and collectively demand that in no circumstances JNU administration should provide such personal information like house addresses, registration number etc. which can be used against the interests of the students coming from deprived background and the struggle for social justice.