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Bill to keep political parties out of RTI sent to Par panel

September 05, 2013 18:18 IST

The bill which seeks to keep political parties out of the ambit of the transparency law will be sent to a standing committee for wider consultations, government informed the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy, who piloted the RTI (Amendment) Bill in the House last month, said in a bid to hold wider consultations, the government is recommending that the bill to be referred to the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel.

Several members from opposition supported the decision.

The bill is also aimed at negating a Central Information Commission order which said political parties were public authorities and should come under RTI Act ambit.

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 seeks to insert an explanation in Section 2 of the Act which states that any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 will not be considered a public authority.

The CIC order had termed Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India and CPI-M as political authorities.

Since the CIC order on six major political parties came on 3 June, the amended Act will come into force with retrospective effect from June.

The CIC order is still "operational", meaning people can seek information on political parties through RTI application.

Government had already made it clear that it will not challenge the CIC order in high court - the appellate court - but bring a bill instead to negate the verdict. 

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