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Govt puts `secret` Cabinet note on RTI Act amendment online

Last Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 10:19

New Delhi: In a first, the government has put a `secret` Cabinet note on its proposal to keep political parties out of the ambit of Right to Information Act in public domain.

The note, which was formed on July 23 following a decision by Central Information Commission to bring six political parties -- BJP, Congress, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP -- under the ambit of transparency law, has been put up on Ministry of Personnel`s website.

"During the process of enactment of the RTI Act, it was never visualised or considered to bring the political parties within the ambit of the said Act. If the political parties are held to be public authorities under the RTI Act, it would hamper their smooth internal working.

"Further, it is apprehended that political rivals might file RTI applications with malicious intentions to the Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) of the political parties, thereby adversely affecting their political functioning," the note reads.

The CIC had in its order on June 3 held that the six political parties were public authorities and come under the purview of RTI Act. The CIC order had evoked sharp reactions from political parties, especially Congress which has been credited with bringing in the transparency law.

On the basis of Personnel Ministry`s note, the Union Cabinet had last month cleared a proposal to amend the RTI Act.

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2013 was introduced on August 12 in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy.

It was, however, referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice headed by Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik for wider consultations.


First Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 10:19

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