Govt hell bent to make RTI an extinct law: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, July 23: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi government over the amendment of the RTI Act, saying that the government is pushing the historic law towards extinction.
"It is a matter of utmost concern that the Central Government is hell-bent on completely subverting the historic Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. This law, prepared after wide-spread consultations and passed unanimously by Parliament, now stands on the brink of extinction," Gandhi said in an official statement.
The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners.
"Over the past decade and more 6o lakh of our countrymen and women have used RTI and helped usher in a new culture of transparency and accountability administration at all levels. The foundations of our democracy have, as a result, been strengthened immeasurably. The weaker sections of society have benefitted greatly by the proactive use of RTI by activists and others," she added.
"It is clear that the present Central Government sees the RTI Act as a nuisance and wants to destroy the status and independence of the Central Information Commission which was put on par with the Central Election Commission and Central Vigilance Commission. The Central Government may use its legislative majority to achieve its aims but in the process it would be disempowering each and every citizen of our country," she further said.
Several members of opposition including from the BSP and the TMC opposed consideration and passage of the Bill and called for a division of votes. But they were defeated by 218 -79 votes.