RTI amendment bill referred to parliamentary panel

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) The controversial amendment to the Right to Information Act, which aimed to keep political parties out of the law's purview, has been referred to a parliamentary standing committee, the government said Thursday.

"We have referred the RTI Act amendment to the parliamentary standing committee. The panel will submit its report in the winter session," Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy told reporters after he made the announcement in the Lok Sabha.

The amendment bill was listed to be taken up in the Lok Sabha.

The decision, informed sources said, has been taken keeping in mind the concern expressed by civil society activists against the proposed amendments.

The amendment aimed to negate a recent Central Information Commission order which said six political parties were public authorities and hence liable to provide details of their finances and other information under the transparency law.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal had strongly defended the amendments, saying political parties were "association of persons" and already accountable to the Election Commission of India.

According to the sources, a wider view would emerge on the issue at the parliamentary panel.


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