Amid uproar by the opposition, the bill to amend the Right To Information (RTI) Act was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The Lok Sabha had on Monday passed the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019, three days after it was introduced on Friday.
The RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to make changes to the landmark transparency law and later the salary and tenure structures of Information Commissioners (ICs) in the states and at the Centre. It now needs clearance from the Rajya Sabha.
The opposition wants the bill along with seven others to be sent to a Joint Select Committee for further discussion and scrutiny.
The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed after the division of votes with 178 members favouring it and 79 against it.
The bill amends Sections 13 and 16 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. Section 13 had set the term of the central CIC and Information Commissioners at five years, or until the age of 65, whichever was earlier.
Earlier on Tuesday, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi accused the Narendra Modi-led Central government of trying to “subvert” the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, saying that the law now “stands on the brink of extinction”.
She further said the government sees the RTI Act as a “nuisance” and “wants to destroy the independence” of the Chief Information Commission.
She concluded that the government may use its legislative majority to achieve its aims, but in the process, it would disempower each and every citizen of the country.