Politics

Lok Sabha Passes RTI Amendment Bill, Oppn Calls it Attempt to Undermine Transparency Law

Lok Sabha Passes RTI Amendment Bill, Oppn Calls it Attempt to Undermine Transparency Law

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 amid criticism from the opposition which alleged that the bill has been brought to undermine the law and make the transparency panel.

Rejecting the criticism that the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is intended to weaken the Act, the government said the opposition is misguiding the people as the proposed changes are only aimed at streamlining functioning.

Leading the opposition charge during the debate on the Bill, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that under the proposed changes the government can hire and fire independent information commissioners.

"It is not Amendment bill but elimination bill," he said.

"The Act was a monumental achievement for the country's democracy and it challenged the vested interests of the government," the former Union minister said.

He questioned why the Bill has been brought "without any public consultation".

"Why is the government desperate to rush through the bill? Is it because the Central Information Commission (CIC) delivered an order on the Prime Minister's educational detail," Tharoor asked.

He noted the four posts of information commissioners are lying vacant in CIC.

"The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a deliberate attempt to undermine the Act and make it toothless tiger like National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)," Tharoor alleged.

(With PTI inputs)