Right to Information

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019

INTRODUCED BY

Introduced by

Mr Jitendra Singh

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

SYNOPSIS

The bill proposes to empowers the Central government to set the salaries and service conditions of Information Commissioners  (ICs) at central as well as state levels.

HIGHLIGHT

The bill removes the previous provisions related to salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC (Central Chief Information Commission)  and ICs (Information Commissioners ) and the same will be decided by the central government.

HighlightsBeforeAfter
TermCentral Chief Information Commission (CIC), State level (SCIC), Information Commissioners (ICs) will serve for the term of 5 yearCentral Government will decide the term
Salary and AllowancesSalaries were equivalent to - CIC = Chief Election Commissioner ICs = Election Commissioner SCIC = State Election Commissioner State ICs = Chief Secretary to State Govt. Salaries and allowances will be decided by the central government
DeductionIf any CIC and IC were receiving pension by serving any previous government services their salaries were reduced to the amount equivalent to the pension received This provision is removed.

BACKGROUND

Freedom of information Act, 2002

The act provides individuals with a right of access to records and personal information under the custody or control of  government . 

The main weakness of this act was that it did not acknowledge the right to information of the people

The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005

The bill was amended with an aim to provide for the setting up of a practical solution to get right to information for its citizens.

The Right to Information (RTI) Amendment Act, 2019

The bill proposes central Government to decide the tenure, salaries and allowances of all Information Commissioners.

KEY STATS

Key Stats ()

# of application filed by citizens and media every year

60 lakh

TIMELINES

19 Jul 2019
22 Jul 2019
25 Jul 2019

WHY (as per the govt)

Salient Points ()

The RTI Act did not give the government rule-making powers.

The new bill is correcting through the amendment.

WHY NOT (as per opposition)

Salient Points ()

The government can threaten or lure the chief information commissioner and information commissioners with arbitrary removal or extension and curtailment or increase in salary depending upon their suitability for the ruling dispensation -  Abhishek Manu Singhvi (National Congress)

It was being done to undermine people's right to information and scuttle probing questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5HP7qXyu0o

This dilutes job security and makes information commissioners vulnerable to whims and fancies of the ruling establishment.

This will reduce the transparency and will weaken the whole idea and structure of the RTI - Shashi Tharoor 

MEDIA SAYING

VIDEOS

Videos ()

FAQs

Public authorities are required to make disclosure of –

  • Their organisation, functions and structure
  • Powers and duties of its officers and employees
  • Financial information

And if they do not provide any of the above information, anyone has the right to know by filing an RTI.

  • Central Government
  • State government
  • Corporation governed by centre or state
  • Government company-owned, regulated by Centre or State

ORIGINAL BILL

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