No representative of political party appears before the CIC in response to notice
In response to the notice by the Central Information Commission (CIC), no representative from any of the six national political parties presented themselves before the CIC to respond to the complaint of non-compliance of the CIC order. The CIC had issued a third notice to the President of the BJP and Congress party along with the heads of four other political parties - CPI, CPI(M), NCP and BSP - asking why an inquiry should not be instituted in the matter of non-compliance of CIC’s order dated June 3, 2013 regarding implementation of the RTI Act, 2005.
In the absence of any one who could air the views of the political parties, the full bench of the CIC comprising of the information commissioners Vijai Sharma, Manjula Parashar and Sharat Sabharwal heard the views of complainants Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal and intervener RK Jain who had sought issuing show-cause notice to the political parties. During the detailed hearing proceedings, the complainants asked the CIC to use its power of civil court to summon these parties and seek explanation for non-implementation of its orders. The complainants also demanded imposition of maximum penalty on the political parties and sought exemplary compensation. The ADR came up with a figure of a compensation amount of Rs 44.10 crore from all 6 political parties calculated at 5% of the party's annual income.
A plea was made to the CIC to recommend to the central government, election commission, central board of direct taxes (CBDT) and others concerned to abolish all direct and indirect financing of the political parties by the Union and state governments. It was also requested that no new government-accommodations should be allotted to any political party while the existing ones may be vacated within a short time. It was also demanded that all the Political parties should be mandatorily made to submit their complete fiscal details including incoming and outgoing funds to election commission for making these public through website.
The CIC reserved the order. With the passage of nearly one and a half years of the June 3, 2013 order of the CIC where it had declared that the six national political parties are public authorities under the purview of the RTI Act, it remains unclear how the CIC is going to enforce its order, if at all it is implemented.