During the hearing, the Nationalist Congress Party representative argued that as per the RTI Act, public interest is not a criteria to declare a body public authority

All major political parties opposed the idea of political parties coming under the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005, before the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Thursday, arguing that mere subsidised facilities provided to them does not equal to funding from the government.

The CIC full Bench, which is expected to finally decide whether political party should be declared as public authority or not, reserved its decision on the contentious issue.

As per the transparency law, a non-governmental organisation will become a public authority if it is substantially government funded, directly or indirectly. The status of public authority mandates that the organisation concerned answers public questions asked under the RTI Act.

During the hearing, the Nationalist Congress Party representative argued that as per the RTI Act, public interest is not a criteria to declare a body public authority.

He also feared that a huge machinery involving lots of manpower will be needed to cater to queries if political parties are made public authorities.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) expressed its concern over making public information pertaining to the inner party discussions.

The party said this type of information, if it goes outside, will be detrimental to the party’s interests.

During the hearing, every major political party except the Congress represented their case before the Commission.

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