Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

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Supreme Court to hear the PIL regarding bring political parties under RTI Act

The political parties are an integral part of parliamentary democracy as they are the ones which either run a government or keep a check on the government in the form of opposition. In the 170th report, the Law Commission had recommended transparency in the functioning of political parties with a special emphasis on the internal party democracy, transparency in financial matters and accountability in their working. It is almost 2 years since the June 3, 2013 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which ruled that the six national political parties (Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party and Bahujan Samaj Party) are covered under the definition of the public authorities under the Section 2(h) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and obliged to disclose information to RTI applicants. Since then, little work seems to have been done in the field to implement the order even though the same has not been challenged. The CIC reiterated its 2013 order in March 2015 after on a complaint that the political parties were not complying with the directive The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal have now approached the Supreme Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to declare that all the national and regional political parties are public authorities under the RTI Act, 2005.

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DATED: Wednesday, 20 May 2015 10:14
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