Listing the Political Parties as Public Authorities - Advantages and Disadvantages

Listing the Political Parties as Public Authorities – Advantages and Disadvantages


Recently, the Association for Democratic Reforms had a major victory when the Supreme Court of India intervened in a matter, seeking to declare the political parties as public authorities.

The Supreme Court bench issued the notice to the Election Commission of India, Government of India and other six political parties (BJP, Congress, BSP, CPI, CPI(M) and NCP. SC sought a reply from the parties on whether the political parties should be declared as “public authorities” so that they can come under the scope of RTI Act.

In June 2013, the Central Information Commission stated that the political parties were public authorities and thus, they should disclose the information under the RTI Act. But, is it a fair decision to declare the political parties as public authorities? Let's take a look at it's merits and demerits.

Advantages of declaring the political parties as public authorities.

Transparency – Declaring political parties as public authorities can ensure a greater transparency in the political system. The political parties play an important role in the formation of government and the policy of decision making. Thus, they should be more transparent in their functioning.

Accountability – In India, the politicians are elected by the citizens of the country and thus, they are more accountable to the people of the nation. Accountability is considered to be the need of the hour.

Better Utilization of money – The public has the right to know how their money is being utilized by the government and is it utilized for the right purpose? Thus, by declaring the political parties as public authorities, the citizens would have a great advantage while tracking their money.

Sources of money – The public would have the right to question the political parties about the source of funds. India is a nation, where black money flows through various government sectors and the public do not get an opportunity to raise a question.

Choosing better candidate – By listing the various political parties as public authorities, we can easily get the details about the politicians who are ruling our nations. This would help us to know our candidates better and we can choose a better candidate for the next elections.

Disadvantages of declaring the political parties as public authorities.

Hamper internal functioning – Political parties should not be declared as public authorities as it would hamper the smooth internal functioning of the government. There is a great possibility that the rival parties may misuse the RTI act and would create disturbances in the smooth functioning.

Aware of income – As per the parliamentary standing committee, the people are aware of source of the income that is received by the politicians. The political parties are working for the development of the people and the nation. Thus, they should not be listed as public authorities.

Threats – Working of a government machinery or political party should maintain an utmost secrecy. Revealing the secrets or documents to public on demand can create a threat to the overall system. People may twist this information and start using it to malign the national leaders and parties for their political advantages.

Privacy – The political parties or NGO's receive donations and it is not right to reveal the identity and details about the donor. It can put them on the radar of other political parties and threaten their physical and economic security. Thus, we should avoid the listing of political parties as public authorities.


Political parties have a binding link with their people. In the present scenario, we can witness a lot of corruption taking place within the political parties of our country.

Transparency and accountability is the need of the hour today and to achieve this, political parties should be declared as public authorities. This would also encourage public participation among the citizens of our country.

By listing the political parties as “public authorities”, we can get a step close to making India a corruption free nation.
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  • RE: Listing the Political Parties as Public Authorities – Advantages and Disadvantages -Deepa Kaushik (07/14/15)
  • Listing the political parties under Public Authorities is a good step which denotes more transparency in their working. Though not a complete check on the co0rruption, still it could be a better way of monitoring the corruption, if occuring in any of thepolitical parties. Being the group of people who are would be candidates for the coming elections, they need to be more close to the common man in their workings.

    Political parties being listed under Public authorities not only creates transparency in their financial transactions, but also gives a small clue to the common man to judge their candidates for Governance in the forth-coming elections. Politics is not a separate field to be funmctioned in anautonomous way. They need to work in close proximity with the common man.

    The funds used by the politicval parties should have a fair play from where they receive the funds and the details of their financial transactions to have greater level of security for the country. When the Government expects the common man to be transparent regarding their financial transactions which is bare minimum in comparison to those used by the political parties; then why can't the common man expect the same level of transparency in a democratic set?

    Hence, it would be very much fair and advantageous to list the political parties under Public Authorities.