CPI seeks time from CIC to implement the RTI Act
Responding to the notice of the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Communist Party of India (CPI) has sought time the transparency watchdog till general elections are over to reply to the notice. The CPI is yet to appoint any PIO or the first appellate authority as per the directions of the full bench of the CIC issued last year. The CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy has said that the party is busy with the elections and is requesting the CIC to give time till the elections.
The bench had ruled that the six political parties were substantially funded directly / indirectly by the government and are covered under the definition of public authority as per section 2(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any- (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; of the RTI Act. Asking the political parties Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP to provide details of the actions, the CIC had directed them to comply with norms of the RTI Act, 2005.The political parties were expected to implement section 4 (pro-active disclosure) too. The Commission had recently issued notices to six national parties seeking details of action taken by them to implement RTI Act in accordance with its direction issued last year.
It is noteworthy that none of the parties have followed the order of CIC prompting the petitioners to file the complaint for non-compliance of the directives. The inaction of the political parties has led to adverse comments from the activists. Is the election more important than implementing the law of the land? The implementation of the RTI Act by the political parties would only lead to a more transparent election.