• Whether Government is trying to curb the right to information ?
  • July 21, 2019
  •  Lol Sabha has passed the bill to amend Right to Information Bill,2019 amid protest by opposition members.Though Government assured on its commitment of transparency and asserted that it works on the princeple of maximum governance minimum government.

    Opposition accused the bill will weaken institutional independence.
    According to the bill, the term of offices, salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions shall be "as prescribed by the Central Government".
    In the present form Section 13 (5) of the Right to Information Act provides that salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of the service of the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner while that of an Information Commissioner shall be same as that of an Election Commissioner.
    According to amendment the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners have salaries of a Supreme Court Judge which brings Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners on a par with apex court judges.
    As per amendment "The functions being carried out by the Election Commission of India and the Central and State Information Commissions are totally different. The Election Commission of India is a Constitutional body...On the other hand Central Information Commission and State Information Commission are statutory bodies established under the Right to Information Act, 2005," it said.
    Opposition argues that this amendment will take away the stature of Information commissioners from equivalent of election commissioners and give the power to set their salaries and service conditions. Such step would weaken transparency panels.
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