15 Hours Ago
Every one is aware of the decision of the CIC decision bringing certain political parties under the RTI act, 2005.
However, it is interesting to note that long before the enactment of RTI act, 2005, the Kerala High court, in its judgment titled - Bharat Kumar K. Palicha And Anr. vs State Of Kerala And Ors. on 28 July, 1997 Equivalent citations: AIR 1997 Ker 291 - in para.15 held that -
"Part IV-A of the Representation of the People Act. 1951, deals with registration of political parties. Section 24-A provides for registration of an association or a body as a political party with the Election Commission. The concerned respondents are registered political parties. Section 24-A(5) compels the association or body seeking registration, to produce a memorandum or rules and regulations of the Association with a provision therein "that the association or body shall hear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India". This would compel the political party to respect the fundamental rights of the citizens embodied in Part III of the Constitution and to recognize the fundamental duties enunciated in Article 51 A of the Constitution. In such a situation, we find that the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution should be exercised at least to the extent of considering the grant of declaratory relief to the petitioners regarding the right of the political parties to call for a bandh and to enforce it is they deem fit."
The above mentioned judgment of the Kerala High court was upheld by the supreme court.
The aforementioned observation of Kerala High court is significant in the sense that any non-governmental organization, whose memorandum or rules and regulations of the Association require the compliance of the provisions of the constitution of India, by a statutory mandate, can be categorized as "other authorities" and is amenable to writ jurisdiction of the high court under article 226 of the constitution of India.
Viewed in the context of the implementation of the mandate of CIC directing certain political parties to appoint PIO and FAA under RTI Act, 2005, the amenability of the political parties to writ jurisdiction, provides an additional way by way of filing writ petition before the concerned high court to direct the political parties to implement the CIC order, apart from filing a complaint u/s 18 of the RTI act, 2005 before the CIC.
The members of this forum are requested to present their views in this regard.