Govt of India seeking to turn information commissioners into 'caged parrots': Appeal to President

National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) leader Anjali Bhardwaj, in a public plea, has asked to concerned citizens, to send an appeal to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, asking him to “withhold his assent to the RTI Amendment Bill.” The appeal, she says, should be sent to secy.president@rb.nic.in and presidentofindia@rb.nic.in, with a copy it to saverti2019@gmail.com.
Text of the appeal says, the RTI Amendment Bill, 2019 “seeks to undermine people’s right to information”, adding, “No public consultations have been held on the amendments and the bill was not referred to any Parliamentary committee for detailed scrutiny.”
Asserting that Amendment Bill “is aimed at eroding the autonomy of information commissions, the final adjudicators under the RTI law”, the plea says, “Information Commissioners were guaranteed a fixed tenure under the RTI Act passed in 2005. The salaries, allowances and other terms of service of the Chief and information commissions of the Central Information Commission and Chief State Information Commissioners were fixed at the level of election commissioners.”
It adds, “The amendments seek to empower the central government to prescribe the tenure, salaries, allowances and other terms of service of information commissioners of the Central and State Information Commissions. The amendment bill, if enacted, will allow the central government to exercise control over commissions and will effectively make them ‘caged parrots’.”

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