RTI Bill in Lok Sabha: Flashpoint In A Productive Session?

PUBLISHED ON: July 20, 2019 | Duration: 16 min, 48 sec

  
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A bill which seeks to take away the stature of Information Commissioners from equivalent of Election Commissioners and give the Centre the power to set their salaries and service conditions was introduced in Lok Sabha today amid protests by opposition parties. Introducing the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said that it aims at institutionalisation, streamlining and ease of delivery of RTI Act. He said it strengthens the overall RTI structure and described it as an enabling legislation for administration purposes. Activists have criticised the amendments, saying it will weaken transparency panels in the country. Opposing the introduction of the bill, leader of Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the draft law is a threat to independence of Central Information Commissioner (CIC). While 224 members supported its introduction, 9 opposed it. Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK and the Bahujan Samaj Party opposed the introduction of the amendment bill before staging a walkout.
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