New Delhi: RTI Amendment Bill is likely be taken up for discussion in Lok Sabha on Monday. The bill seeks to amend the RTI Act to shield political parties from providing information under the transparency law. "To move the Bill to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005 be taken into consideration. Also to move that the Bill be passed," said the list of business for Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2013 was introduced on August 12 in the Lower House by Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy. The Union Cabinet had cleared the proposal to amend the Act to give immunity to political parties and negate a Central Information Commission order to this effect. Many RTI activists have opposed the proposed amendments.
The Cabinet's decision had come nearly two months after the Central Information Commission's order of bringing six national political parties, Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI-M, CPI and BSP, under the RTI Act.
The government has proposed an amendment in Section 2 of the Act, which defines public authority, to shield the political parties. The proposed amendments, if accepted by Parliament, will make it clear that the definition of public authority shall not include any political party registered under the Representation of the People Act, officials said.
The CIC had in its order on June 3 held that the six national parties have been substantially funded indirectly by the central government and were required to appoint public information officers as they have the character of a public authority under the RTI Act. The order had evoked sharp reactions from political parties, especially Congress which has been credited with bringing in the transparency law. Many RTI activists have opposed the proposed amendments.
(with additional inputs from PTI)