Power to regulate the tenure, salaries and allowances of Information Commissioners
The Government has revived its 2018 proposal to curtail the autonomy of the Information Commissions established under The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). Readers will remember, a similar attempt was made exactly one year ago but the Bill to assume power to regulate the tenure, salaries and allowances of Information Commissioners across the country was not tabled in Parliament. Perhaps the widespread protest from citizenry and the media supported by the Opposition Parties was the reason for the government backtracking. According to the Revised List of Business, the Government is likely to table the Bill in the Lok Sabha today (19th July, 2019).
The text of the RTI Amendment Bill making the rounds of cyberspace is similar to the 2018 Bill, word for word. The slightly expanded paras #3 and 5 of the Statement of Objects and Reasons attached to the Bill are the only variation over the previous document. Click here for the text of the RTI Amendment Bill, 2019.
Problematic areas in the RTI Amendment Bill, 2019
In 2018, many experts and activists wrote eloquently and passionately about the regressive nature of these proposals to amend the RTI Act. Some of the arguments against these amendment proposals, circulated last year, would be relevant for the reference of readers. The crux of our arguments are given at the link:-
Readers may refer to the link for a detailed reading.