Political parties to be beyond the purview of the RTI Act
During a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi, the union cabinet has approved to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to nullify the Central Information Commission (CIC) bringing the political parties within the ambit of transparency law.
Earlier, the full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) had ruled in June 2013 that the six national parties - Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP – are answerable under the RTI Act as they have been substantially funded by the government. The political parties were directed to appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs) as they were held to be a public authority as defined under the RTI Act. Politicians cutting across the party lines had opposed the CIC decision and calling it a wrong interpretation of the Act.
In consultation with Law Ministry, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had put forth the proposal for amending the RTI Act to change the definition of public authorities in such a manner that all recognised political parties are out of the ambit of the RTI Act. The amendment bill is likely to be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament and going by the multi-party support, would most probably be passed without much opposition. Readers may refer to other articles on the issue.
Ordinance to bring amendments to RTI Act cleared by the Law Ministry - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/ordinance-bring-amendments-rti-act-cleared-law-min
What are the differing views regarding the amendement to the RTI Act? - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/what-are-differing-views-regarding-amendement-rti
Funding of political parties has been a matter of debate - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/funding-political-parties-has-been-matter-debate-1077
Comments of the political parties regarding the CIC order declaring them as public authority - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/comments-politicial-parties-regarding-cic-order-de