CIC issues notice to the national political parties for non implementation of its order
On June 3, 2013, a full bench of the Central Information Commission had ruled that the six national political parties are covered under the definition of public authority and had given six weeks to them to appoint Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities as mandated under the RTI Act, 2005. The order was passed on an appeal by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal and the Association of Democratic Reforms' Anil Bairwal. The order declared that the six political parties, namely - Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - are covered under the ambit of the RTI Act.
Neither the order was contested in the court nor was the compliance done amidst talks of bringing out an amendment in the RTI Act to specifically exclude the political parties from its ambit. On Feb 7 and Mar 25, the CIC had issued notice to these political parties seeking their comments for non-compliance of its order. Now, the CIC has sent notice to these political parties for ignoring to appoint the Public Information Officer and First Appellate Authority and replying to the applications filed under the RTI Act. The parties have been granted a four-week time to explain the non-compliance. The notice says that if they fail to respond within the prescribed time, the matter will be processed further on the strength of the material on record, in accordance with law.
The notice, which has been sent to the chiefs of Congress, BJP, BSP and NCP and to the general secretaries of CPI and CPI-M reads "Therefore, a notice is issued to show cause within four weeks as to why an inquiry should not be initiated in the matter of non-compliance of the Commission's order dated June 3, 2013, under Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005”