A petition was filed by Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay in the Supreme Court of India praying that all the political parties registered with the Election Commissionof India be brought under the Right to Information Act (RTI). He also prayed that political parties registered under Section 29A of Representation of the People Act be brought under the head of ‘public authority’ under section 2(H) of the RTI Act, 2005. He further prayed that all political parties should appoint a Public Information Officer and appellate authority within four weeks and make disclosure letters, in the event of non-compliance of the provisions in the result of the same, the political parties shall be de-recognized by the Election Commission of India.
The petitioner said that he moved to the court when no attention was given by Election Commission of India to his proposal of bringing political parties under the ambit of RTI Act. He further added, the corruption, black money and benami transactions affected the right to freely and fairly vote.
In addition, the petitioner submitted in the court that the Central and State Government have allotted land or buildings all over the country either free of cost or at concessional rates, which amounts to indirect financing of Political parties. Various Information Commissions and High courts have held that allotment of land and buildings on subsidized rates and exemption from various taxes including income tax act amount to indirect financing. This issue was brought up before the CIC and in 2013 the CIC pronounced that they do come within the RTI Act but most of the parties did not comply.