Congress for referring RTI amendment bill to select or standing committee of Parliament

The Opposition parties have accused the union government of trying to make the Central Information commission a toothless body and compromising on its independence.

Published: 24th July 2019 09:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2019 09:47 PM   |  A+A-

Ghulam Nabi Azad

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday demanded in Rajya Sabha that The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, be either sent to select or standing committee of Parliament for scrutiny.

However, the Trinamool Congress claimed in the House that 7 bills related to issues including triple talaq, labour reforms and unlawful activities should be sent to select or standing committees.

On Monday, the Lok Sabha passed The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners.

The Opposition parties have accused the union government of trying to make the Central Information commission a toothless body and compromising on its independence.

As soon as the House resumed in afternoon, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Not a single bill has gone to standing or select committee. There are two important bills listed today. But the bill related to Children is for their protection. However, the second bill on right to information should go to standing or select committee."

Elaborating further he said: "State committees are being diluted (under Right to Information Act). We are representatives of the states. If states' rights are diluted then we should talk about it. We demand that the Right to Information Amendment Bill should be sent to select committee."

ALSO READ | RTI Amendment Bill will compromise autonomy of transparency panel: Ex-information commissioners

Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan said there will be a discussion on Wednesday itself on The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

TMC leader Derek O'Brien said, "It is the government and opposition which passed 14 bills. There are 18 to 19 bills which are transmitted to Rajya Sabha. We have given a seperate notice that seven bills should be sent to select committees if standing committees are not in place, for further improving the bills."

He further said,"In the spirit of cooperation, we have stated that right to information, code on wages, code on occupational safety health and working conditions, triple talaq and unlawful acitivities should be sent to select committee or standing committee."

Leader of the Rajya Sabha Thawar Chand Gehlot said: "When the bill is not in discussion, how can we discuss about that (referring a bill to any committee)."

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