Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 25-07-2019.
The Lok Sabha had passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 22-07-2019. In this amendment, it was proposed to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005 so as to provide that the term of office of, and the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners and the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners, shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Further, Speaking about the objective of bringing this amendment, the Minister of State for Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension Jitendra Singh said that:
In regard to fixation of the tenure of Information Commissioners, it is never mentioned in the amendment that the Government will change it after every two years, as alleged by the Opposition. The Government will not have unbridled powers to amend the rules. The Minister said that the Government is open to the suggestions and the amendment is being done with a clean intention. On the issue of referring it to the Select Committee of the House, the Minister said that it is the prerogative of the members and it should be determined on the basis of the merit of the Bill.
CIC is a statutory body and Election Commission is a Constitutional body. Therefore, the mandate of Election Commission of India and Central and State Information Commissions are different and needed to be determined accordingly. He clarified that this amendment has been brought in without any motivation. This will help in streamlining the RTI.
The Bill was not referred to a Select Committee, with 117 members voting against referring the bill to a select committee, and 75 members voting for it.
The proposed amendments are as follows:
Amendment of :
Sections 13, 16 and 27.
Succinct of what changes would take place:
- Provision of “5 years of the term of office” is to be replaced with “Central Government notifying the term of office” of both Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners.
- The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
- Salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
*Please follow the link for detailed bill: Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019
[Press Release dt. 25-07-2019]
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions