The Communist Party of India (CPI) has become the first political outfit to respond to an RTI application after a CIC order declared parties as public authorities but underlined that it does not come under the transparency law.
Responding to an RTI application, Communist Party of India has said it supplies information to I-T authorities and the Election Commission on regular basis and stands for “transparency of income and sources of income” and added that it has not appointed any Public Information Officer so far.
“According to our understanding, we are not yet part of Information Act. However, we reply to your queries,” party General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy said.
Responding to an RTI petitioner who had sought to know the action taken on his write up by the party, Mr. Reddy said, “We have received your letter ‘Baseless apprehension of Political parties on CIC verdict’ Did not we correspond with anybody on these letters. There is no necessity. We did not react to it as the very heading ‘Baseless’ is provocating and insulting, even without knowing what are our apprehensions, doubts, and objections (sic).”
In response to applicant S C Agrawal’s query, CPI said it stands for transparency in income of political parties and supplied such information to CIC also.
“As for internal decisions, we are not prepared to share with outsiders. We feel it is degrading for political parties to declare that they function with financial help from government. It is an insult to parties and democracy. This is not a baseless apprehension. You have your opinion. We have our opinion. Let us agree to disagree,” it said.
Acting on a petition of Association of Democratic Reforms, CIC had declared six political parties —— Congress, BJP, NCP, BSP, CPI and CPI—M as public authorities under the RTI Act.