HC directs CIC to dispose complaint against Sonia Gandhi expeditiously
A full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC), in its order dated June 3, 2013, had declared the six national parties - Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI(M), NCP and BSP - as public authorities making them answerable to applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
In his RTI application dated February 7, 2014 RTI activist R K Jain sought to know from Congress party the steps taken by it to implement the RTI Act and designate the Public Information Officer (PIO) and First Appellate Authority (FAA). However, the party refused to accept the RTI application and returned the envelope. Jain has alleged that the party told him over phone regarding failure of the party to designation the PIO or FAA. He approached the CIC with his complaint of denial of information and failure of the party to designate PIO / FAA but his complaint was not registered forcing him to approach the High Court for above “non-action” of the CIC.
As no stay order has been obtained by any political party against the decision of the CIC declaring them as public authorities, they are expected to put in place a system for the implementation of the RTI Act. During the hearing, the CIC informed the bench that Jain's plea is pending before it and will be taken up. Justice Vibhu Bakhru of the Delhi High Court has directed the CIC to decide in six months a complaint against Sonia Gandhi that she has failed to implement the CIC’s directions making political parties answerable under the RTI Act.
The bench said “In view of the statement made by the learned counsel for the respondent (CIC), the present petition is disposed of with the direction that the complaint filed by the petitioner be considered expeditiously and preferably within a period of six months”.