Sonia Gandhi seeks four weeks time from CIC to respond to notice

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has sought four weeks time to respond to a notice of the Central Information Commission asking reasons for not complying with its verdict bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act.

Citing Delhi elections, Gandhi said despite best efforts, she could not prepare the reply to the present complaint within the timeframe.

In her submission filed through her lawyer, Gandhi said she was in the process of seeking legal advice and preparing appropriate response to be filed before the Commission which is expected to be ready within four weeks.

“The request for extension of time has been necessitated by reasons beyond the respondents’ control. The application is made bona fide and in the interest of justice,” her lawyer said in the submission before the Commission.

The CIC had issued notices to Gandhi asking her to explain why her party has not complied with the directives of a panel about responding to RTI queries and not replying to an RTI plea filed last year.

Similar notices were issued by the CIC in separate cases to BJP as well but its chief Amit Shah has also not responded.

A full bench of CIC had declared that Congress and five other national parties — BJP, CPI, CPI-M, NCP and BSP — are public authorities which are answerable under the RTI Act, but none of the parties either set up any mechanism to respond to such queries nor alter law or challenge the order in any high court.

Noted activist R K Jain had filed the RTI application with Congress last February but with there being no response to it, he later made a complaint in that regard before the CIC.

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