The Lok Sabha passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2019

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The 2005 Act was enacted during the first Congress-led government UPA government

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The 2019 bill was passed with 218 members voting in its favour and 79 against it

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What has changed?

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The Bill amends Sections 13 and 16 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005

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1. Section 13 of the original Act sets the term of the central Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners at five years

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The amendment proposes that the appointment will be “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”

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2. Section 13 also states that salaries etc of “the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner”...

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...and those of an Information Commissioner “shall be the same as that of an Election Commissioner”

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The amendment proposes that their salaries and allowance “shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government”

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3. Section 16 of the original Act sets the term for state-level CICs and ICs at five years

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The amendment proposes that these appointments should be for “such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”

Congress Leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Bill is a “threat to the independence” of the Central Information Commissioner

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While Shashi Tharoor called it an “RTI elimination Bill” that removes the organisation’s independence

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The Government had tried to introduce the amendments last year too but had to withdraw the Bill because of protests from the Opposition.