New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi, former Congress president and chairperson of party’s parliamentary party, lashed out at the union government on Tuesday questioning its motive behind pushing a Bill that seeks to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, and accusing it of diluting the legislation.
“It is clear that the present Central Government sees the RTI Act as a nuisance and wants to destroy the status and independence of the Central Information Commission which was put on par with the Central Election Commission and Central Vigilance Commission," Gandhi said in a statement released on Tuesday by the Congress party.
Her remarks come a day after the Lok Sabha passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, amidst strong protests from opposition parties. The bill seeks to empower the central government on deciding the terms of chief information commissioners and information commissioners at both central and state levels, as well as have a say on their salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service.
Sonia Gandhi added that more than 60 lakh citizens of the country have used the RTI Act to “usher in a new culture" of transparency and accountability. She said the law which was passed through wide-spread consultation now stands at the brink of extinction.
“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," she added.