Do you want political parties out of RTI Act? Air your view before 4th Oct 2013

Here is the chance for you to air your views on keeping political parties out of RTI Act. A Parliamentary Committee has sought people’s suggestion on RTI Amendment Bill which is aimed at giving immunity to political parties from providing information. The Committee has invited memoranda containing views or suggestions from the individuals or organisations in connection with the Bill. The panel will also hear select oral evidence from stake holders concerned. People can send in their views or suggestions within 15 days time, according to the advertisement that appeared in newspapers on Saturday.

THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2013 (Bill No. 112 of 2013) has been introduced in the Parliament which is a BILL to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005. We as informed citizen has the right to voice our views and concerns over this amendment in a constitutional way on issue of keeping political parties out of RTI Act. But before you air your views please read the provisions of the RTI Amendment Bill 2013 from our download segment here!

You can send your views by 4th Oct 2013

Political Parties continuously perform public functions which define parameters of governance and socio-economic development in the country.The criticality of the role being played by these Political Parties in our democratic set up and the nature of duties performed by them point towards their public character, bringing them in the ambit of section 2(h) of the RTI Act. – See more at: http://www.rtiindia.org/law/political-parties-under-rti/167/#sthash.zNxnGoQ1.dpuf

One of the views aired by politician was

I think it is important to keep a practical control of RTI objectives because it cannot be allowed to run riot- Salman Khurshid, external Affairs minister

– See more at: http://www.rtiindia.org/law/political-parties-rti-escapism/180/#sthash.Tb6S2elt.dpuf

The Proposed changes for keeping political parties out of RTI Act

In section 2 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in clause (h), the following Explanation shall be inserted, namely:––

The expression “authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted” by any law made by Parliament shall not include any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.’

After section 31 of the principal Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely:—

“32. Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree or order of any court or commission, the provisions of this Act, as amended by the Right to  Information (Amendment) Act, 2013, shall have effect and shall be deemed always to have effect, in the case of any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 or any other law for the time being in force and the rules made or notifications issued thereunder.”.

The statement of object and reasons for keeping political parties out of RTI Act

The Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted by the Government for setting out a framework for effectuating the right to information for citizens and to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

2. The Central Information Commission in one of its decision dated 03.06.2013 has held that the political parties namely AICC/INC, BJP, CPI (M), CPI, NCP and BSP are public authorities under section 2(h) of the said Act. The Government considers that the CIC has made a liberal interpretation of section 2(h) of the said Act in its decision. The political parties are neither established nor constituted by or under the Constitution or by any other law made by Parliament. Rather, they are registered or recognised under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the rules/orders made or issued thereunder.

3. It has also been observed that there are already provisions in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as well as in the Income-tax Act, 1961 which deals with the transparency in the financial aspects of political parties and their candidates.

Political parties under RTI4. Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working, which is not the objective of the said Act and was not envisaged by Parliament under the RTI Act. Further, the political rivals may misuse the provisions of RTI Act, thereby adversely affecting the functioning of the political parties.

5. In view of above, the Government has decided to amend the RTI Act to keep the political parties out of the purview of the RTI Act, with a view to remove the adverse effects of the said decision of the CIC. It is also necessary to give retrospective effect to the proposed amendment with effect from the date of the said decision of CIC, that is, 3rd day of June, 2013.

6. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.

The contact details as per the Rajya Sabha website are as follows:

Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice

Shri Ashok K. Sahoo,
Joint Director (PPG)
Tel. : 23035365(O)
E-mail : sahoo.ak@sansad.nic.in

Smt. Niangkhannem Guite,
Assistant Director
Tel. : 23035220(O), 23016784(Fax)
E-Mail : rs-cpers@sansad.nic.in

Smt. Catherine John L.,
Assistant Director
Tel. : 23035220(O), 23016784(Fax)
E-Mail : rs-cpers@sansad.nic.in

You can either send the views directly, or post it at our forum here so that Activist can compile and send it together.

Posted in RTI Act 2005
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9 comments on “Do you want political parties out of RTI Act? Air your view before 4th Oct 2013
  1. MOHAMED SALAHUDDIN says:

    I am strongly against the amendment to keep political parties out of the RTI act. They all should come under the RTI preview.

  2. Amitava Das says:

    I am strongly against the proposed amendment to keep political parties out of the of RTI Act

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am strongly against the proposed amendment to keep political parties out of the of RTI Act

  4. Anonymous says:

    you are against the proposed amendment to keep political parties out of the purview of RTI Act

  5. shyam kumar says:

    I am against this amendment since aim of all political parties is to come to power and rule the country. They should not have any thing to conceal from the voter who votes them to power.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am against the proposed amendment to keep political parties out of the purview of RTI Act

  7. g.r.vidyaranya says:

    All political parties do public service at the cost of public money and hence they must come under the purview of RTI Act as declared by Central Information Commission. If the Income Tax Act or the Representation of the People Act could bring in accountability and transparency, politicians would not have been able to amass such wealth in such short time.

    I am against the proposed amendment to exempt the political parties from the its purview.

  8. R K Mishra says:

    In short,
    Political parties are the basis of democracy and they influence the pith of governance. We the voters watch their RARE UNANIMITY to cover themselves from transparency. There is enough provision in the ACT itself to protect issues like Privacy. They can no more pull such curtains to hide their misdeeds.

    Even, Political parties in 40 countries required to disclose sources of income. Flaunting as the largest democracy, why should India lag behind?

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Political-parties-in-40-countries-required-to-disclose-sources-of-income/Article1-1115893.aspx

    Regards

    R K Mishra

  9. Amit Kulkarni says:

    Stop this ammendment.

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