Centre’s decision to bring amendments to RTI Act draws criticism from activists

  1. Activists and former information commissioners have opposed the Centre’s move to amend the Right to Information(RTI) Act.
  2. The amendment proposes to empower the government to fix the term of service of information commissioners.It also proposes to change the salaries and allowances of CIC and IC as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
  3. However,activists have said that the amendments would dilute the Act and curtail the independence of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and other information officers.
  4. The activists has said that the amendment would also allow Centre to simply transfer any authority be it the CIC or any of the SICs in the event a case is directed against the interests of the government.
  5. Further,former CIC have said that fixed tenure of five years for Information Commissioners are part of basic structure of the existing law and any amendment to these provisions undermines the basic structure of the RTI.
  6. Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.The basic objective of the Right to Information Act is to (a)empower the citizens (b)promote transparency, accountability in the Government (c)contain corruption and (d)make our democracy work for the people in real sense.
  7. The CIC is an 11 member commission set up under the Right to Information Act,2005 as a quasi judicial body.It is the highest appeal body available to applicants seeking information under the RTI Act.