Centre confirms plan to amend RTI Act, but no details yet
An RTI reply from the Department of Personnel and Training said that while an amendment in the act is under consideration the details requested in the query cannot be provided.Updated: Jun 16, 2018 12:32 IST
The Centre has confirmed it is considering an amendment to the Right to Information (RTI) Act but has refused to provide details of the proposed bill.
An RTI reply received by Anjali Bhardwaj this month from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said: “The matter regarding amendment in the RTI Act, 2005 is under consideration and has not reached finality. As per section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, 2005, information requested by you cannot be supplied at this stage.”
Among the questions which were asked in the RTI application include: the date on which the proposal to amend the RTI Act, 2005 was prepared by the DoPT; the date on which the DOPT forwarded the proposal to amend the RTI Act, 2005 to the cabinet and the date on which the cabinet has taken a decision regarding the proposal to amend the RTI Act, 2005.
It also asked for a copy of the proposal to amend the RTI Act, 2005, prepared by the DOPT and a copy of the decision of the cabinet regarding the proposal to amend it.
Bhardwaj said under the Pre-legislative Consultation Policy (PLCP) of 2014, the government is supposed to put out all the legislations, policies etc that it is planning in the public domain for one month for consultation.
“The government is not wanting to make the amendment public at all. Unfortunately, we are finding that any amendment or laws that they are bringing in, there is no pre-legislative consultation on these.
“Even in the case of the Whistleblower’s Protection Amendment Bill, they didn’t put anything in the public. We filed an RTI application, but they didn’t give us any information,” Bhardwaj told IANS.
“From media reports, we got to know that an RTI amendment was being planned and there was an RTI Amendment bill. So, we filed this RTI to know the content of the bill. They have denied it to us,” she added.
Bhardwaj said there was a clause in the RTI Act Section 8(1)(i), which says that cabinet papers cannot be given under the RTI.
“But we didn’t ask for cabinet papers, we have asked for what the DOPT has prepared and the date on which the proposal to amend the RTI Act was prepared. What is so secret about the date. They have denied all the information related to the amendment,” she said.