Ordinance to bring amendments to RTI Act cleared by the Law Ministry
The Law Ministry has reportedly cleared the ordinance for the amendment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which seeks to overturn the CIC's ruling to bring political parties under the ambit of the transparency law.
Earlier, the CIC order was proposed to bring political parties in the category of exempted institutions under Section 24 or a specific exemption may be added under section 8 of the RTI Act. However, this might not happen and instead the proposed amendment seeks to amend the definition of public authority under Section 2 of the RTI Act making it clear that "it shall not include any political party registered under the Representation of the Peoples Act". Hence, political parties may not be added in the list of organisations exempt from parting information under the information act.
The cabinet note regarding the proposed amendments declares that making the parties accountable to the public will hamper their smooth internal functioning as large number of applications would be filed with malicious intentions by political rivals. The cabinet note also defends the proposed step by stating that the Representation of the People Act and the Income Tax Act are already there to profuse transparency in the political parties and their finances.