Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Rajya Sabha passes RTI Amendment Bill

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the controversial Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 amidst uproarious scenes after an acrimonious debate and rejection of a strong opposition demand for referring to a select committee for detailed scrutiny.

“There is no attempt, motivation or design to curtail the independence autonomy of Right to Information,” said Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh.

As the voting was going on, the House witnessed some unruly scenes with the Deputy Chairman Harivansh repeatedly urging the members to maintain order in the House.

The Opposition led by Congress staged a walkout alleging the government of “killing” democracy and the institutions.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the treasury benches members to intimidate the opposition members before walking out of the House.

“Don’t make the parliament a government department. They are killing democracy. We don’t have any faith on this government,” he said.

The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to make rules to decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also of State Information Commissions.

Earlier, moving the bill, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh clarified that the legislation is not intended to curtail the autonomy of RTI Act.

When the House was taken up the Bill in the post-lunch session, it faced four brief adjournments.

The Opposition parties including Congress, Left, TMC, DMK, AAP and RJD demanded the government to refer the bill to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.

Members from the Congress, TMC, CPI and CPI-M moved amendments in this regard urging the government to send the bill to the Parliamentary Committee.


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