Source: 
The Times of India
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-20/india/40694448_1_central-information-commission-political-parties-rti-act
Date: 
20.07.2013
City: 
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Making their disdain for transparency public, only one of the 45 state political parties has given information on their sources of funding and allotment of offices and land from government under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) had sent RTI applications to all recognized state political parties seeking information to allotment of government land and buildings for their offices as well as matters related to their finances such as sources of voluntary contributions received by them.

Only J&K's PDP has responded by giving the required information. The party has declared that it received contributions from two donors — Access Infrastructure and Telecommunications who gave Rs 50,000 and The Lalit Grand Palace, Srinagar, Rs 2 lakh — for 2011-2012. The party also provided details of allotment of its offices. While J&K's National Panthers Party responded it did not provide financial details. Puducherry's All India N R Congress and Indian Union Muslim League (Tamil Nadu) declined to give information saying the Act did not apply to them.

The move comes over a month after the Central Information Commission (CIC) ruled that six national political parties are public authorities and come under the ambit of the RTI Act. The decision was in response to an application filed by ADR. Political parties — Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, BSP and NCP —have all objected to the decision claiming that they are only answerable to the Election Commission (EC).

Meanwhile, the government has prepared a bill to keep political parties out of the ambit of the RTI Act. According to sources, the bill could be brought in the monsoon session of Parliament, starting August 5.

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