Let us see the impact of the amendment as mentioned in the table:
Comparison between RTI Act, 2005 and RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019
RTI Act, 2005
RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019
Impact of the Amendment
The Act defined terms tenure, salary and appointment etc.
The central government will notify the term, salary and appointment of Information commissioners are decided by the government on a case by case basis.
Amendment dilutes the independence of the Information commissioners. This would cripple neutrality of the Information commissioners.
This would reduce them to act as central government employees, who may show loyalty to the government of the day.
This would hamper the transparency and accountability of the Information Commissioners.
These amendments will further dilute the effectiveness of the RTI Act, which is already being ineffective.
Term: The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) (at the central and state level) will hold office for a term of five years or till they attain the age of 65.
Also, CIC and ICs are removed by the President after the Supreme Court enquiry.
The Bill has removed this provision and states that the central government will notify the term of office for the CIC and the ICs.
Those who are friendly to the Government would get a chance to serve more than one term.
And if the tenure or term of CIC and ICs are fixed by the Government, their removal and appointment would be decided by the Government only.
Salary: The salary of the CIC and ICs (at the state level) will be equivalent to the salary paid to the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, respectively.
Similarly, the salary of the CIC and ICs (at the state level) will be equivalent to the salary paid to the Election Commissioners and the Chief Secretary to the state government, respectively.
The Bill has removed these provisions and states that the salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC and ICs will be determined by the central government.
This leads to a reduction in salaries of the CIC and ICs (at the centre and state)
Deductions in Salary: The Act states that at the time of the appointment of the CIC and ICs (at the central and state level) if they are receiving pension or any other retirement benefits for previous government service, their salaries will be reduced by an amount equal to the pension.
The Bill has removed these provisions.
This will impact their authority in seeking information from Higher offices.
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