Right to information for Competitive Exams Part 15

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Right to Information vs. Political Parties

RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal had sought the details of benefactions, who received some of the major political parties, through the authority of the notice. But the political parties, refusing to give information about themselves, told them out of the law. Mr. Agarwal presented this issue to the Central Organizing Committee on behalf of the social organization ADR. While giving a historic judgment on June 3, 2013, the Commission said that the political parties have been collecting all facilities like land, buildings and communication across the country at concessional rates, Therefore, the legal and moral responsibility of political parties is to inform the public about their income and expenditure.

The Central Information Commission said in its order that the Right to Information Act under Article 2 (h) (1) and (2) six political parties are public authority, because they are largely funded by the government.

Political parties expressed resentment over the Commission's decision. They argued that upon accepting this decision all the parties will have to deploy the Information Officers on all their party offices across the country, which would not be possible for the parties with limited resources And the second argument was that the RTI applications will flood as soon as it is implemented. Which would be impossible to handle for political parties.

Political parties are not public institutions, nor government institutions, and they do not even take fund (fund) from the government. So they should not be within the purview of RTI. There can also be fears that the political opponent will file an RTI application with the central public notice officer of political parties with maliciousness, which will severely affect their political functioning.

The central government approved a proposal amendment Bill on the provision to keep political parties out of the purview of RTI Act while making a final decision. On August 12, 2013, personnel, public grievances and pension (pre-paid institute)Minister of State V Narayanasamy presented this amendment in the Lok Sabha. For comprehensive discussions on September 5, 2013 the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik was shipped. The committee is currently discussing this.