Amendments to weaken RTI
The RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 states that the central government will notify the term of office for the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and the Information Commissioners (ICs). The Bill also states that the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC and ICs will be determined by the central government. However, the Bill removes the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 that the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) (at the central and state level) will hold office for a term of five years, the salary of the CIC and ICs (at the state and central level) will be equivalent to the salary paid to the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, respectively. And, also removes the provision that at the time of the appointment of the CIC and ICs (at the central and state level), if they are receiving a pension or any other retirement benefits for previous government service, their salaries will be reduced by an amount equal to the pension.
To understand what this means and how the Amendments will weaken RTI, Suno India reached out to Rakesh Reddy Dubbuddu, RTI activist and Founder of data journalism portal Factly.