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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Parties under RTI: BJP in logjam

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 05, 2013
First Published: 02:26 IST(5/9/2013) | Last Updated: 02:33 IST(5/9/2013)

BJP is learnt to be mulling whether to suggest that not just political parties but all non-government bodies funded by the state be exempted from the Right to Information Act.

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The context: the government is set to get amendments in the Right to Information Act passed to exclude political parties from its ambit, after the Central Information Commission said political parties are public authorities under it and should appoint information officers to dispense information.

Sources say senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley suggested at the BJP’s Parliamentary Party meet on Tuesday that rather than exempting just political parties from the ambit of the Right to Information Act, all non-government bodies that are public authorities because they accept government funds be exempted.

The logic: it could be legally untenable to exempt just political parties and not similarly funded entities — like NGOs, clubs etc — from the law’s purview.

Either they should all be out of it or all should be included in it, his argument went.


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