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  • Priya De
    Priya De

    Amendment to RTI Act silently brewing in Central Government

    In reply to RTI, the DoPT has stated that "The matter regarding amendment in the RTI Act, 2005 is under consideration and has not reached finality. As per section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005, information requested by you cannot be supplied at this stage."

    Even as the central government has confirmed that the matter regarding amendment in the Right to Information (RTI) Act is under consideration, the Department of Personnel and Training refused to provide details of the proposed amendment bill.

    "The government has confirmed that it is planning to amend the RTI Act but has illegally refused to share details of the amendment bill in response to an RTI application."

    Bharjwaj also said: "It has refused to even disclose the dates on which the proposal to amend the RTI Act was prepared by the DoPT and date on which it was forwarded to the cabinet by the DoPT, which cannot be covered under Section 8(1)(i)."

    Expressing concern over the media reports that the amendment the government was planning to bring was regressive, Bhardwaj said: "What is worrisome is they are planning to reduce the stature of the Information Commissioners and weaken the Information Commissions in the country. 

    "At the moment, the salaries and allowances of the Commissioners are same as that of a SC judge. But, now the government will have the discretion to decide their salaries. That is very dangerous. It erodes the independence of the Commission.

    "There is a powerful law in place. There is no need to make changes. What the government should instead do is appoint Information Commissioners. At the CIC, there are four vacancies and four more to come this year including the Chief Information Commissioner who is retiring. Why is the government trying to tinker with the law and amend the law and dilute it.

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