Govt stays clear of CIC ruling on funding details | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt stays clear of CIC ruling on funding details

Political parties will have to fight it out in the courts to get the Central Information Commission (CIC) order covering them under the transparency law struck down. Aloke Tikku reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2013 22:58 IST
Aloke Tikku

Political parties will have to fight it out in the courts to get the Central Information Commission (CIC) order covering them under the transparency law struck down.

The government does not intend to rush to Parliament to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act to explicitly keep political parties out of the purview of the information law. Or for that matter, move the courts to strike down the CIC verdict.

"The political parties affected by the CIC decision are free to go to the high court and Supreme Court... The government does not a locus standi in this case," a senior government source told HT.

A three-member CIC Bench presided by Satyananda Mishra had this week ruled that six political parties -- the Congress, BJP, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI and the CPM were public authorities under the RTI Act.

The Congress - that refused to turn up at the two hearings of the CIC's full bench - has been crying hoarse about the ruling, dropping hints that the
government could amend the law.

Officials suggest that the CIC may have exceeded its brief by its wide interpretation of the provisions.

While there may be a case for more transparency in funding of political parties, the RTI law wasn't drafted for this eventuality.

"If someone from the Congress were to seek communications between the BJP president and other functionaries, there is no clause under which this could be refused. And it can't be anyone's case that the Congress had the right to this information," one official argued.