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Can’t bring political parties under RTI, Centre tells SC

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6.Can’t bring political parties under RTI, Centre tells SC

Political parties cannot disclose their internal functioning and financial information under the Right to Information Act as it will hamper their smooth functioning and become a weak spot for rivals with malicious intentions to take advantage of.

This was the answer given by the Union government to the Supreme Court against making political parties publicly accountable under the RTI Act.

The affidavit filed by the Department of Personnel and Training said the Act “never visualised or considered to bring political parties within its ambit.”

The Supreme Court had earlier issued notice to six national parties, including the BJP and the Congress, asking them why they can’t come clean and explain their hesitation to disclose complete details of their income, expenditure, donations, funding, including donor details, to the public under the RTI Act.

The other major parties to receive the notice were the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

The EC and the Centre were also asked to file responses. Disclosure of info will help rivals, says affidavit.


1.Muslim population growth slows

India’s Muslim population is growing slower than it had in the previous decades, and its growth rate has slowed more sharply than that of the Hindu population, new Census data show. The decadal Muslim rate of growth is the lowest it has ever been in India’s history, as it is for all religions.

The Muslim population still grows at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates is narrowing fast.

Nation in numbers

India now has 966.3 million Hindus, who make up 79.8 per cent of its population, and 172.2 million Muslims, who make up 14.23 per cent. Among the other minorities, Christians make up 2.3 per cent of the population and Sikhs 2.16 per cent.

The Registrar-General and Census Commissioner released the data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011 on Tuesday evening.

The data on religion comes after a significant delay. The 2001 Census data on religion was released in 2004 and the 2011-round results were expected in 2014. However, the numbers remained unreleased, even as a draft of the key data was selectively leaked. The data comes in the backdrop of much fear-mongering over Muslims and their population, and RSS thinkers were quick to term the new data as proof of the end of Hindus, even while the numbers belie their claim. The distribution of data is of the population by six major religious communities — Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain — and “Other religions and persuasions” and “Religion not stated”.

Muslim fertility rates in India are falling faster than among Hindus, Pew Research’s Future of World Religions report showed recently, and the Muslim community is expected to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2050.

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