27-07-201927-07-2019 13:30:16 IST
2019-07-27T08:00:16.549Z27-07-2019 2019-07-27T08:00:12.596Z - - 10-04-2020
The Right to Information Act (Amendment) Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha amidst great dissent from the opposition who pointed out that this bill will take away the autonomy and independence of the body. A number of RTI Activists, opposition parties and Information Commissioners have said that this bill will pose a threat to the act itself.
The bill was easily passed in Lok Sabha where BJP who introduced the bill enjoys an absolute majority. However, it couldn't have been passed in the Rajya Sabha had it not been for YSRCP, TRS, and BJD.
In an open letter to the Chief Ministers of the three states of these regional parties, former Chief Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has demanded an explanation for supporting the bill.
"Please try to take the assistance of your legal teams and find how your support to this bill will kill your sovereign powers at least now, which you should have done before supporting it. You have a duty to answer these questions, morally, legally (as Section 4(1)(c) of RTI Act mandates), constitutionally (Federal principles) and politically (as you have proclaimed that you would form a front and fight for the rights of the states, against the centralization of powers by the Union)," said the letter demanding an explanation from K Chandrashekhar Rao, YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Naveen Patnaik.
The letter further questioned if there were any compulsions of pressure from the central government to support the bill as there was no reason for the three parties to do so. Especially considering the fact that only one of the three CMs had charges pending against them, wrote Sridhar referring to Jaganmohan Reddy.
He has asked the CMs to release detailed statements explaining why they supported the bill at the cost of sacrificing the sovereign rights of their states.
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