CIC Orders Six Parties to Comply With RTI Act

12 February 2014

India’s Central Information Commission Feb. 7 asked the six national parties to explain what they have done to fulfill a June 2013 CIC for them to comply with the Right to Information Act.

The Commission asked the parties to provide details of their actions within four weeks, according to media reports such as one in the Economic Times and one in The Hindu.

The Commission determined that the six political parties were substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were public authorities under the RTI Act. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

This far none of the parties have complied with the original order. Although they did not challenge it in court, they made plans to overturn it legislatively.

RTI activist Subhash Agrawal petitioned in the case for the commission action.

The CIC had directed the parties to appoint Public Information Officers within six weeks to respond to RTI queries and adhere to all the legal provisions.

The issued notices went to the Congress party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India and Bahujan Samaj Party.

The list of government-sponsored legislation to be taken up in the current legislative session omitted a bill to keep all political parties out of the purview of the RTI Act, giving some relief to RTI activists who have successfully stalled it so far. “However, they have expressed apprehension that the bills may be brought in at the last moment,” according to one report.

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