SC issues notice to Centre, EC on plea to bring political parties under RTI Act

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea seeking directions to bring all recognised political parties under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued the notice on the petition filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

Upadhyay had filed the petition in the apex court on April 7, seeking directions to declare all national and state recognised political parties as a ‘public authority.’

The petition said: “As per Section 29C of the Representation of People Act (RPA), donations received by political parties are required to be reported to the Election Commission of India. This obligation points towards their public character.”

“Therefore, this court can declare that political parties are a ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005, by reading 10th Schedule of the Constitution with Sections 29A, 29B and 29C of the RPA,” argues the petitioner.