Reconsider amendment to RTI Rules: Seshadri

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Shimoga, Karnataka, May 10 (UNI) Forum for Information Awareness Convener S Sheshadri today urged the Karnataka Government to reconsider the recent amendment to Right to Information Rules 2005, as it was in clear violation of Right to Information (RTI) Act besides being 'anti-people, retrograde, disparage and illegitimate.' In a letter to the President and the Prime Minister, copies of which were released to the press here, Mr Sheshadri claimed the amendment restricted the information sought to not more than 150 words on one subject and a separate application should be made for different subjects.

Earlier, there was no such restriction on quantum of information and fees required to be paid, the letter stated.

Alleging the bureaucracy in Karnataka had pushed through the amendment by way of executive order when there was no popular government in the state, he said the RTI had been enacted by Union Government 'which had never thought of bringing a similar amendment to the Union RTI (Regulation of Fees and Costs) Rules 2005.

He claimed, the amendment was not only illegitimate but also devoid of powers since section 29 of the RTI Act prescribes that every rule made under the Act by the state government shall be laid before the state legislature. Therefore, the amendment should have been approved by Parliament.

By the amendment, the bureaucracy in Karnataka had usurped the powers of the legislature and committed misconduct, he charged.

Quoting the observation of the apex court while hearing the amendment to Representation of People's Act, Mr Sheshadri said RTI should be allowed to grow rather than being frozen or stagnated as exposure to public scrutiny was one of the known means for getting clean and less polluted people to govern the country.

He warned of a separate movement if the amendment was not withdrawn forthwith.

UNI XR MSP JT AS1824

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