NEW DELHI: After the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha, the Opposition appears to be in no mood to allow its passage in the current form in the Upper House. Opposition parties have decided to press for sending the Bill to a select committee for scrutiny when is tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
The Bill calls for amending Sections 13, 16 and 27 of the RTI (Amendment) Act that links the status of the central information commissioners with that of the election commissioners and the state information commissioners with the state chief secretary. The Trinamool has prepared a resolution regarding sending the Bill to a select committee. According to party leaders, most of the opposition parties, including Biju Janta Dal, have agreed to support the resolution.
“The TMC has decided to demand for moving the RTI Bill and other key Bills to select committee. The idea is not to oppose them but improving the quality of the Bills before they are passed,” said party leader Derek O’Brien.
Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi also issued a statement saying the Modi government was “hell-bent on completely subverting” the RTI Act. It is clear that the government sees the Act as a nuisance and wants to destroy the status and independence of the Central Information Commission, she said.
“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,” Sonia said in her statement.The Opposition has also agreed upon the strategy to let the House run during the morning session when members can raise issues during Zero Hour and Question Hour, and to hold protests against the government’s move to push various Bills without any scrutiny during the afternoon session.