The Modi government has introduced the Right to Information Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha on Friday in which the Central Government has proposed to keep the decision of fixing their salaries and service conditions from the tenure of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners.
From today on 14 October 2005 i.e. on 12th October, 2005, "Right to Information" i.e. RTI law came into effect in the country. Under this, any citizen has the right to get information of any work or decision of the government. According to social workers, this law is considered to be one of the most successful laws in independent India till now. According to one estimate, under this law, citizens make more than six million applications every year
Its opposition and opposition outside it have strongly opposed it. Social worker, on Monday, the civil society and human rights organizations protested in Delhi.
Why protest the act?
Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor said in the Lok Sabha that this is a "RTI Elimination Bill". According to those who oppose the proposed RTI amendment bill, the Modi government is weakening the RTI.
On Monday, organizer and RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj told the BBC, "The government's intentions are clearly visible and the government does not want it to be accountable to the people. The government is not willing to give information to the people and therefore, The government wants to change this to weaken the law. "
Shikha Chhibber, a lawyer for human rights, says, "It was a common way for a common citizen to use the right to get information from the government. It was a modification of the medium."
How the proposed bill changes the existing law
The proposed bill makes amendments to Section 13 and 16 of the RTI Act, 2005, under which the term of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners is fixed for five years (or up to the age of 65, whichever is earlier).
The Modi government proposes that the central government will now decide the term of the term. Section 13 states that the salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner will be same as the Chief Election Commissioner and the information commissioner will also be similar to the Election Commissioner.
Section 16 relates to the State Level Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners. It determines the tenure of five years (or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier) for them. The amendment proposes that these appointments and the decision of the tenure will now be done by the Central Government.
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension says that the Modi government wants to give more emphasis to the RTI Act. Presenting the bill in Parliament on Friday, he said that for the first five years, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners were appointed. Now the Center will decide how long its tenure will be. Center will also decide this for states as well.
According to him, the terms of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner were similar to the Election Commissioners. Terms will now be changed. According to Jitendra Singh, the Election Commission is a constitutional body while the Information Commission is a legal entity. There is a difference in both.
But in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the bill is a "threat to independence" of the Central Information Commissioner. Trinamool Congress, DMK and AIMIM members also protested.
Social worker Shikha Chhibber says that she is not satisfied with the logic of the government. "The information commissioner has been working with independence for so many years, his tenure is for five years, there was no problem in it. If the government brings this proposal only after two months of coming back to power then it seems that all of them Wants to do some control so that the information commission could not work with independence. "
What will the general citizen have to do with this?
Anjali Bharadwaj says that it can prove fatal to democracy. She says, "If this bill is passed, the information commission will be very weak, now if the common man asks the government for information about the corruption or human rights abuses, then the Commission goes to the Commission, but if the commissioner If he is sitting, he becomes weak, then the process of taking people's information will become weak and he will not be able to take such information so that he can make the government accountable. "
The Central Government had tried to present an amendment even last year, but due to opposition opposition, the bill had to be withdrawn.
There have been incidents of violence against RTI activists and according to the Indian media, more than 50 workers have lost their lives so far.
Well, the RTI is very popular in the public. Journalists are also taking advantage of it. It is considered to be one of the most successful laws of independent India. It has given the right to the citizens and the right to ask questions of government officials.
Social workers say that if the government does not withdraw this bill, then it will challenge it in court.
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