Irony: Centre Might Amend Right To Information Act Without Prior Information

The Logical Indian Crew India

July 16th, 2018 / 6:39 PM

RTI Act Amendment

Image Credits:The Indian Express

The monsoon session of the parliament, which will commence on July 18 and end on August 10, will see a bill proposing to amend the 2005 law on Right to Information. The bill has not been put into the public domain yet. As per the notice on the Parliament bulletin, Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is listed under “new bills” on number 14. However,  unlike other bills, this bill has only one line description saying, “To amend the Right to Information Act, 2005”, reports Economic Times.

As per NDTV, the government sources have indicated that the new bill is meant to revise the salaries of salaries of RTI officers. It is also reported that instead of the Parliament, the salaries would be brought under the central and state governments. Activists argue that this move will deter the officials from going against the government.

RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, through RTI had sought information from the Department of Personnel and Training on the proposed bill. However, she was denied that information saying that the bill was still under consideration and hence further information could not be rendered.

The fact that no consultations were sought before drafting the amendment bill has irked opposition parties and social rights activists. Since the government has not put the draft amendment bill in the public domain, the opposition MPs are planning to raise the issue on the first day of the session. Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh said, “No pre-legislative consultative process has been followed. The amendment bill was not put in the public domain.”

Social rights activists including Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj would march to the Parliament on the first day of the session on Wednesday. Wajahat Habibullah, India’s first chief information commissioner, too, has lent support to the march. Bhardwaj said, “The government has not followed its own pre-legislative consultation policy of 2014.”

Nikhil Dey, 55, is a social activist mostly known for his campaigns to promote RTI (Right to Information Act). He, along with other activists, founded the Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangthan (MKSS) in 1987 and has been heavily involved in causes that aim for transparency and accountability.

A signature campaign has also been launched asking PM Modi to not introduce any amendments to the RTI Act, which would dilute it. This campaign has received more than 15,000 signs till now.



Also Read: RTI Act Amended: The Supreme Court Is Also Guilty Of Diluting The Right To Information


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Written by : Shraddha Goled

Edited by : Abhinav Joshi

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