PIL in SC for bringing political parties under RTI

PIL in SC for bringing political parties under RTI

Democratic rights and RTI activists have urged the Supreme Court to declare all national and regional political parties as "public authorities" and bring them within the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The petition has also sought a direction to all such parties to disclose details about their income and expenditure under the transparency law.

The founding member of Association for Democratic Reforms, Prof Jagdeep S Chhokar, and RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal have filed the plea through advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking transparency and accountability in functioning of recognised national and regional political parties.

"Issue the appropriate writ declaring all national and regional political parties to be public authorities under the RTI Act...and thereby fulfill all obligations under provisions of the said Act," the petition said.

It claimed that the political parties receive huge sums of money in the form of donations and contributions from corporates, trusts and individuals but do not disclose complete information about the source of such donations.

It urged the apex court to direct all national and regional parties to mandatorily disclose details about their income as well as expenditure.

It also sought declaration of entire details of donations and funding received by the political parties, irrespective of the amount donated and details of donors making donations to them and to electoral trusts.

The petition claimed that political parties enjoyed a stronghold over their elected MPs and MLAs under Schedule 10 of the Constitution that makes it compulsory for members of either Houses of Parliament or state legislatures to abide by the directions of their parties, failing which they stand to be disqualified.

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