New Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from all national political parties on why they should not be brought within RTI ambit to make them more accountable to public. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu issued notice to all six national political parties including BJP, Congress, BSP, CPI and CPM seeking their response to declare them public authorities under the transparency law. 

The bench also issued notice to the Centre and the Election Commission asking them to make their stand clear on bringing political parties under the RTI Act. 

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO Association for Democratic Reforms seeking court direction to make political parties amenable to the RTI Act.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that national parties are virtually funded by the state as they are exempted from filing income tax returns. 

Bhushan said they would have to deposit 35 per cent of donation received by them had they not been exempted. He said that it shows that they are being funded by the government, making them liable to come under the RTI Act.

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