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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

'CIC order to bring parties under RTI misconceived'

PTI  New Delhi, July 15, 2013
First Published: 15:20 IST(15/7/2013) | Last Updated: 15:44 IST(15/7/2013)
Political parties were not intended to be brought under the RTI Act and the order by the Central Information Commission to appoint public information officers is misconceived, I&B minister Manish Tewari said today.
 
His comments come on a day when the deadline set by the CIC for appointing public information officers by the parties ends.
 
"If you read the RTI Act, if you go back to the debate which led to its conceptualisation, if the intent was to bring political parties under it, that would have been stated," Tewari told reporters here.
 
"And the law doesn't allow you to do something indirectly which cannot be done directly and that's why we have said very respectfully that the CIC's order is misconceived and fails on the fundamental appreciation of the law," he said.
 
The CIC had in its June 3 order said six national parties -- Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP -- have been substantially funded indirectly by the central government and they have the character of public authority under the RTI Act as they perform public functions.
 
The Law Ministry had cleared the ordinance route to amend the RTI Act to overturn the CIC order bringing the parties under the ambit of the transparency law.
 
In a question related to reported incursions into Indian territory by Chinese forces, Tewari said there was a danger in trying to sensationalise and "raise temperatures" where none were required and nothing called for.
 
He said if at all there has been an intrusion, Defence and External Affairs ministries would appropriately deal with it.
 
In a question related to violence during Bengal polls, Tewari said such incidents had no place in democracy.
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