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CIC `exceeded its brief` under RTI Act: CPI(M)

Launching a fresh attack on the CIC over its order to treat political parties as "public authorities", CPI(M) Friday said it had "exceeded its brief" under the RTI Act and sought changes in the law on the issue.



New Delhi: Launching a fresh attack on the CIC over its order to treat political parties as "public authorities", CPI(M) Friday said it had "exceeded its brief" under the RTI Act and sought changes in the law on the issue.
"CIC has exceeded its brief under the RTI Act by setting out a new definition of political parties. When Parliament adopted the Right to Information Act in 2005, which was supported by CPI(M) too, the intention was not to bring political parties as `public authorities` under its purview.

"Therefore, it is necessary for the government to discuss with all political parties and get the necessary clarification incorporated in the RTI Act itself by Parliament," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said.
Terming the CIC decision "to extend the purview of the RTI Act" as "misconceived and wrong", he said the order stemmed from "a lack of understanding and a basic misconception about the role of political parties in a parliamentary democracy."

"Political parties are not governmental organisations or state-funded entities. There is no constitutional provision for a political party. A political party is an association of citizens who come together voluntarily to form a party" on the basis of an ideology, programme and leadership, Karat said in an article in the CPI(M) organ `People`s Democracy`.

He also pointed out that the new CIC order would enable anyone to ask for internal deliberations of a party which "will harm the very mode of inner-party functioning. Within a party, discussions are held on the basis of confidentiality that certain decisions are taken."

PTI

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