Political Parties to be under RTI? New CIC bench will decide

Chief Information Commissioner R.K. Mathur has constituted a larger Bench to hear complaints against six national political parties that they had not adhered to the Central Information Commission (CIC) order bringing them within the ambit of the RTI Act.

The new bench will replace the previous one which comprised of 3 members which was hearing the matter since July until one of his members, Bimal Julka, decided to recuse himself citing workload. After his recusal, Mr. Mathur had put the matter in abeyance till further notice.

However, no member of the previous Bench has found place on the new Bench.

Earlier, Mr. Acharyulu was taken off cases pertaining to the Ministry of Human Resource Development after he ordered disclosure of academic records of the B.A. course of Delhi University of 1978, the year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have passed the examination.

Besides Mr. Mathur himself, the new Bench comprises Information Commissioners Sharat Sabharwal, Manjula Prasher and Divya Prakash Sinha. It will start hearing the matter from August 16, a notice issued by the Commission said.

The Bench has issued notices to then heads of political parties — Rajnath Singh of the BJP, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BSP’s Mayawati, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, Sudhakar Reddy of the CPI and CPI(M)’s Prakash Karat.

The six parties were brought under the ambit of the RTI Act by a full Bench of the Commission on June, 3, 2013.

We hope that the hearing is done unbiased and must benefit the country and its people.

(Source: The Hindu)

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