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CIC show-cause to Sonia, Amit Shah

CIC show-cause to Sonia, Amit Shah
Highlights

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show-cause notices to BJP president Amit Shah and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi along with the heads of four other political parties, asking why an inquiry should not be instituted in the matter of non-compliance

  • NCP, CPI, CPM, BSP chiefs also issued notices
  • CIC warns them over non-adherence to RTI Act
  • None of them could obtain a stay on the CIC order
  • They fail to appoint RTI officials as per the Act

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show-cause notices to BJP president Amit Shah and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi along with the heads of four other political parties, asking why an inquiry should not be instituted in the matter of non-compliance

of its order to implement the

RTI Act.

They ignored the CIC order to appoint information officers and entertain RTIs. The notice gave the parties a four-week time to explain the non-compliance. The commission had issued notices on February 7 and March 25 to these parties seeking their detailed comments on the complaint of non-compliance of its order.

Last year, on a plea by activist Subhash Agrawal, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had declared six national parties –Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI, CPI-M and BSP – as public authorities, thereby bringing them under the ambit of the Right to Information Act. However, none of the parties either contested the decision in courts or followed the instructions of the panel.

“Therefore, a notice is issued to show cause within four weeks as to why an inquiry should not be initiated in the matter of non-compliance of the Commission's order dated June 3, 2013, under Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005... Take further notice that if you fail to respond within prescribed time, the matter will be processed on the strength of material on record, in accordance with law,” the notice said.

The move comes close on the heels of a Delhi High Court order which directed the Commission to decide in six months on a complaint against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi regarding the issue of non-compliance with the transparency panel's directions that the party was answerable under the RTI Act.

None of the political parties has so far obtained any stay order against the decision of the Commission declaring them to be public authorities, which implies that they must adopt the procedures for processing RTI applications as laid down in the transparency law.

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