Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Cabinet clears proposal to keep political parties outside RTI ambit

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 01 August 2013, 11:19 PM

The cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to keep political parties out of the ambit of transparency law.     

The decision to change the RTI Act was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, official sources said.

The move followed after the Central Information Commission (CIC) had in June held that six national parties--Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP--have been substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were required to appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs) as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act. 

The decision from transparency watchdog evoked sharp reactions from political parties, especially Congress which has been credited with bringing in the transparency law but is opposed to the CIC's directive.     

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as nodal department for the implementation of the RTI Act, in consultation with Law Ministry decided to amend the law.

The government seeks to change the definition of public authorities mentioned under Section 2 of the RTI Act to keep all recognised political parties out of the jurisdiction of RTI, the sources said. 

The government will have to introduce a Bill in this regard in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday, they said.   

The Centre's flagship Right to Information Act empowers a citizen to seek time-bound information on all matters of governance by paying a fee of Rs 10.

First Published: Thursday, August 01, 2013 07:56 AM
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