SIC issues notice to state BJP unit over absence of RTI mechanism
Acting on a complaint by RTI activist Ajay Dubey, the Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission (SIC) directed to issue a notice to state BJP unit for alleged absence of mechanism to reply to applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. Dubey approached the State Information Commission (SIC) alleging that when he went to the BJP office to file an application, he did not find any mechanism for facilitating RTI queries from citizens.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) had ordered the six national political parties - Congress, Bhartiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) – are covered under the definition of public authority under section 2(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any- (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; of the Right To Information Act and hence are answerable to applications filed under the Act. Even after passage of one year, the order is yet to be implemented and none of the parties have designated any public information officer or set up a suo-motu disclosure mechanism. Attempts were made to amend the RTI Act but the bill has been referred to a parliamentary committee.
The state BJP unit has been asked to file its response before the SIC on the next date of hearing which is scheduled for April 4.