Published On: Mon, Jul 22nd, 2019

Lok Sabha passes amendment to RTI Act, Opposition slams government

New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Monday passed the bill amending the Right To Information Act, amid objections by the Opposition which alleged that it was an attempt to undermine the law and make the transparency panel into a “toothless tiger”.

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the bill aims at institutionalisation, streamlining and ease of delivery of RTI Act.

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, takes away the stature of information commissioners from equivalent of election commissioners, with their salaries and service conditions to be specified by the government.

Rejecting the opposition’s charge that the Bill will weaken RTI Act, the government said it was fully committed to transparency and autonomy of the institution.

Replying to a debate on the Bill, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the bill aims at institutionalisation, streamlining and ease of delivery of RTI Act.

When the Minister sought consideration and passage of the Bill, several members of opposition including from the BSP and the TMC called for a division opposing it which was defeated 218 by 79 votes.

After this the leader of principal opposition party Congress, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, sought a clarification which was disallowed by the Speaker.

Unhappy with this, members of the opposition parties staged a walk out.

The Bill was later passed by voice vote.

PTI

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