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RTI Act Amendment

RTI Act Amendment

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Published by Sunil Ahya

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Published by: Sunil Ahya on Aug 06, 2013
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08/10/2013

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Dear Friends,1.
 
Political parties are entities with certain natural attributes, and they would not beable to change or redefine those inherent natural attributes, for example, there isno way they can redefine themselves as a military/security or an intelligenceorganization.2.
 
Political parties are EITHER Private Authorities OR Public Authorities, I am notaware if there is any middle path available to them !!3.
 
Presently - Given the said CIC decision:If they are now able to establish themselves as Private Authorities / Entities - ina court of law, then RTI Act in its present legislated form does not apply tothem, and the matter rests there for the moment.Else, they continue to remain established as Public Authorities, and as such, theyhappen to come under the ambit of the RTI Act.4.
 
 Now, if by virtue of their access to legislators they amend the RTI Act,Whereby, they take themselves outside the ambit of the RTI Act,WHEREAS, other Public Authorities continue to remain within the ambit of theRTI Act,Then the question is, would they not be enacting a law which violates Article 14of the Constitution of India titled "Equality Before Law", and lays down that"The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the EQUALPROTECTION OF THE LAWS within the territory of India." ?
 
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5.
 
What does "Equal Protection of Law" mean in the present context?If Political Parties need to be protected because their functioning may getaffected by virtue of coming under the RTI Act, then similarly other PublicAuthorities too need to be protected because their functioning too gets affectedin some way or the other ! Don't believe that .....Please refer to the preamble of the RTI Act, which lays down as follows:
Quote:
AND WHEREAS democracy requires an informed citizenry andtransparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also tocontain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalitiesaccountable to the governed;AND WHEREAS revelation of information in actual practice is likely toconflict with other public interests including efficient operations of theGovernments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information.
Unquote.
Thus, if the functioning of the Political Parties is affected, then so is thefunctioning of other Public Authorities, at-least that is what the PREAMBLEof the RTI Act seems to be very very clearly suggesting !6.
 
Therefore, it appears that, the options before the Political Parties are:
 
Either, to establish themselves as security or intelligence organizations;
 
Or, to establish themselves as Private Entities.
 
Or, to take themselves along with ALL THE OTHER PUBLICAUTHORITIES outside the ambit of the RTI Act (i.e. equal protectionof law).
7.
 
It is important to note here, that if Political Parties as Public Authorities take
themselves out of the ambit of the RTI Act, whereas leaving other PublicAuthorities to remain within the ambit of the RTI Act,Then the RTI Act, in effect would be contravening Article 14 of the Constitution by way of a legislative enactment, which by a reasonable inference would mean anindirect amendment of the basic structure of the Constitution.hmmm ..... can Parliament do that ? please read further .....

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