NEW DELHI: The Centre introduced the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha on Friday. This Bill is the revised draft of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2005. Several social activists, including the opposition party, have started protesting against the amendment. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday opposed the Centre's move to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act, alleging that it would end the independence of central and state information commissions. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has appealed that every Indian should oppose the government's amendment.
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In the midst of all this , let us know the highlights of this Bill :
The objectives and reasons of the Bill say that Section 13 of the RTI Act provides for the tenure and service conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners. It provides that the pay, allowances and conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners respectively. It also provides that the salary of the State Chief Information Commissioner and state Information Commissioners will be equal to that of the Election Commissioner and Chief Secretary respectively.
The pay and allowances and service conditions of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners are equivalent to that of a Supreme Court Judge. As such, the pay allowance and service conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner, The Information Commissioners and the State Chief Information Commissioners are at par with that of the Supreme Court Judge.
The Central Information Commission and the State Information Commission are the legal bodies established under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005. There is a need to streamline their service conditions. The Amendment Bill provides that the pay, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners and the State Chief Information Commissioners and state Information Commissioners shall be decided by the Central Government.
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