The Times of India

JALANDHAR: After Central Information Commission order that six national political parties were covered under RTI Act the regional parties are now also facing slew of application from RTI activists. As Professor Jagdeep Chhokar of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), who had also pleaded the case before CIC in this regard and got the favourable order, revealed that he was being informed that people in various states were filing applications. A Punjab based activist P S Kitna revealed that has has already sent an application to Shiromani Akali dal seeking details of expenses on Goa Chintan Shivir.

Chhokar, who was here to address a seminar on RTI Act and political parties, said that the situation and reaction of the political parties was like they reacted to the 2002 direction of Supreme Court opposing that every candidate would have to disclose his/her assets, liabilities, pending criminal cases against him/her and other details through a sworn affidavit while filing the nomination papers. He held that ADR was ready to fight the further legal battle if political parties would challenge this decision of the CIC.

He revealed that after this order he had been informed that activists in various states were seeking details from regional parties and the latter would also be now coming under the RTI Act. He held that more than the common citizens the grass root level activists of the parties would using this tool as internal democracy was missing in the parties.

Meanwhile Human Empowerment League Punjab (HELP) general secretary P S Kitna said that he had already filed an application to SAD head office seeking details of their expenses and who participated in Goa Chintan Shivir had been sought. Apart from the details of the expenses the copies of bills and receipts of these expenses have also been sought.

Kitna and Punjab Election Watch coordinator Jaskirat Singh said that if the party would not give the details then he would file a complaint with the State Information Commission.Socialist Party of India's vive president Balwant Singh Khera said that he had earlier filed RTI Applications and then a petition also with the CIC and now he would also pursue the route to bring out the working of the political parties.

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