Indian Gov’t Still Planning to Overturn CIC Order

10 July 2013

Instead of filing a court appeal, the Indian government is continuing to consider at a legislative way to overturn a June 3 Central Information Commission ruling making political parties subject to the right to information law, Indian papers continue to report.

“Highly-placed sources in the Law Ministry today said that the CIC order would not be challenged by the government in the high court – the appellate court for such issues,” according to an Economic Times article.

The CIC gave the six affected political parties six weeks to designate information officers, a deadline of July 15.

The draft amendment to Section 2 of RTI Act would classify political parties not as “public authorities,” but rather as “associations of individuals,” according to several media accounts.

An internal government note, quoted in a report by The Hindustan Times, says: “Declaring political parties as public authorities under the Right to Information Act (RTI) would hamper their smooth internal functioning since it will encourage political rivals to file RTI applications with malicious intentions.” The note is attributed to the law ministry and department of personnel. It says existing laws – Representation of People’s Act and the Income Tax Act – provide “adequate transparency in respect of financial aspects of political parties.”

Exempting CBI from RTI

Another exemption reportedly under consideration would exempt Inquiry proceedings against officers the Central Bureau of Information from disclosure under the RTI Act, according to a story in the Deccan Chronicle.

This and other proposals were to be heard by the Supreme Court on July 10.

Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi are cited in opposition to the proposed exemption.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ,

Filed under: What's New