Political parties oppose the CIC order declaring them as public authorties
In a rare show of unity, political parties cutting across the ideological lines have opposed the order of the Central Informaiton Commission (CIC) declaring the political parties as public authorities. To pre-empt a unilateral stay by the High Court in case an appeal is filed by the political parties against an order to bring them under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Tuesday filed a caveat before the Delhi High Court. The caveat would entitle the ADR to be heard before the HC passes ay order in the case.
The national coordinator the ADR, Anil Bairwal informed the reporters that on Tuesday morning, they had filed a caveat in the Delhi high court so that no party can get stay on the CIC order without the ADR being apprised of.
Earlier the Central Informaiton Commission had ruled that political parties are covered under the realm of the RTI Act. Hearing two separate complaints filed by the Anil Bairwal of ADR and RTI activist S.C. Agrawal, the CIC held that the political parties are covered under the definition of public authority. Link - http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/political-parties-are-covered-under-right-informat
The CIC ruling directs the six national parties - the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) – to appoint the public information officers after finding that they are been substantially funded by the government.
It was demanded by the activists that when the government itself is under the RTI, the political parties that run the government should be under the domain of the RTI. Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of the National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms has claimed that the order of the CIC would give right to people to know the criteria of candidate selection, office bearers, party's constitution, election manifesto, among other things.