The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the centre and the Election Commission (EC) on an application seeking political parties to be declared public authorities in order to make them transparent and accountable to the public.

The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, wants political parties to be declared as ‘public authority’ under the Right to Information Act, 2005, (RTI).

The main objective of the petitioner is to eliminate the unchecked use of black money by political parties. The petitioner submits that transparency and accountability are key to the adequate functioning of the RTI and “narrow interpretations of the words used in the statute would frustrate the objective of the Act".

Explaining the term ‘indirect financing’ and its association with political parties, the petitioner said there were precedents which have held that the principal of indirect financing directly brings the political party under the ambit of the RTI.

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