The centre government has told the Supreme Court that the political parties should not be brought under the domain of Right to Information (RTI) as this would hamper their smooth work.
Terming the political parties as “public authorities,” the centre government has said that it could help political rivals to file pleas with malicious intention to seek information.
“When the RTI Act was enacted, it was never visualized that political parties would be brought within the ambit of the transparency law,” said the affidavit filed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) today. “There were provisions in Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951 and the Income Tax Act which brought necessary transparency about the financial aspects of a political party.”
The affidavit, filed through an under secretary, came after a notice was issued on a plea to bring all the political parties under the ambit of the RTI Act.
“I further submit that during the process of enactment of the RTI Act, it was never visualized 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,” the affidavit said. “Further, it is apprehended that political rivals might file RTI applications with malicious intentions to the CPIOs of political parties, thereby, adversely affecting their political functioning,” it said.
The affidavit further reads, “Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working which is not the objective of RTI Act and was not envisaged by Parliament under the RTI Act.”