Decision to amend RTI Act is a bad move: Arvind Kejriwal

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NEW DELHI–Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the decision to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act is not a correct move as it will end the independence of Central and State Information Commissions.

"Decision to amend the RTI Act is a bad move. It will end the independence of Central & States Information Commissions, which will be bad for RTI," Kejriwal tweeted.

Earlier, the government on July 19 introduced the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha which seeks to give the central government power to fix the tenure and salaries of information commissioners.

Opposition parties staged a walkout protesting against its introduction. During the voting on the introduction of the amended Bill, 224 members voted in favour while nine in against. Several opposition members stated that the amendments will dilute the provisions of the original Bill.

However, Speaker Om Birla said that objections should be about the introduction of the Bill and its merits can be discussed during the discussion.

Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh, rejected allegations of the Opposition and said that nobody can accuse the government of weakening the architecture concerning the Right to Information.

"A portal for the purpose was created during our government," he said. Singh accused the erstwhile UPA government of bringing the law in a hurry and leaving loopholes and said that the bill would allow the government to frame rules.

Singh said that the government is open to suggestions from opposition members when the Bill is discussed.


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