Should political parties be brought under RTI– There have been years of debate and controversy over whether political parties should come under the Right to Information Act. For years, some organizations as well as ordinary citizens have been demanding that political parties should be in the realm of the Right to Information Act.
The purpose of this demand is to make the general public aware of the funding available to political parties and their operations. Political parties are independent bodies. Therefore, political parties are not ready to come under the purview of RTI.
Should political parties be brought under RTI?
There are two groups on whether political parties should come under the purview of RTI or not. We will now look at the opinion of the two groups.
1) Transparency in funding is an important issue to bring political parties under the purview of RTI. If the general public knows how much funding a political party receives and from whom, the trust in a political party will increase and democracy will be strengthened. Therefore, it has become important to bring the political party under the ambit of RTI.
2) Political parties are working to eradicate corruption as well as the fight against corruption. That is why funds given to political parties is often given by the common man. After political parties come under the purview of RTI, the common man will also get information about the affairs of national parties and they will keep an eye on functioning political parties.
3) According to the IT Act, It is not mandatory for political parties to disclose a donation of less than Rs. 20,000. This can be misused by political parties, hence they need to come under the purview of RTI.
4) The law clearly states that the RTI Act is applicable not only to government bodies but also to some non-governmental organizations. Some non-governmental organizations are substantially financed and controlled by the government. The government gives many subsidies to political parties. They are also given tax exemptions.thereby, they are financed by the Government.
5) Many donate black money to political parties.The donor does not give any details about himself while making the donation. Donors do not provide their addresses or any other details. They also do not provide PAN card information. Therefore, even if a political party comes under the purview of RTI, these things will be curbed
1) Each political party has its own internal governance system. Therefore, if a political party comes under the purview of RTI, these things can hamper their functioning and have a detrimental effect on the credibility of the political party.
2) A political party is an independent body so they are not accountable to the people. Also, no political party is established by the constitution or any other law, so it is not accountable to the people.
3) If a political party comes under the purview of RTI, RTI will be misused by oppositions and RTI will be used to harass political parties with wrong intentions.
4) The Income Tax Act 1961 and the Representation of people Act provides all the necessary provisions regarding the financial transparency of a political party.