Source: 
Business Standard
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/appeal-against-political-parties-over-information-officers-113121100880_1.html
Date: 
11.12.2013
City: 
New Delhi

An appeal has been filed with the Central Information Commission (CIC) demanding action against political parties that have failed to comply with the CIC order to appoint a public information officer (PIO) as per rules.

The CIC in a decision June 3 brought national parties under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and directed them to appoint a PIO within six weeks.

Six national parties - Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Comunist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - have, however, still not complied with the order, said RTI activist Subhash Agrawal and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The activists Wednesday sought "strict action" against the parties.

"Six weeks have passed and the political parties have not appointed a PIO. They were in fact trying to pass a law to keep themselves out of RTI," Agrawal told IANS.

He said they have so far sent two notices to the CIC, informing the office about the non-compliance.

"This behaviour is akin to contempt of court. Such non-conformity by these national parties can be precarious to our democracy and interest of the public at large," said a statement from the ADR.

A recent report by the ADR based on analysis of income tax returns and statements filed with the Election Commission said the sources of funding of political parties remain largely unknown.

Over 75 percent of the funds cannot be traced and are from "unknown" sources, it said.

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