Letter to Sonia Gandhi requesting public consultation on the RTI Amendment Bill
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  • August 29, 2013
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August 29, 2013

On the 28th of August 2013, the NCPRI sent a letter to Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the UPA requesting her to take steps to ensure that the RTI Amendment Bill is referred to a Standing Committee for pubic consultation. The letter by the NCPRI states, “Any amendment that dilutes the people’s right to information would weaken this important avenue of reform, and even undermine the process of realizing constitutional promises. The introduction of the RTI Amendments Bill in Parliament, as a reaction to the recent Central Information Commission order, has raised widespread suspicion among citizens that the political establishment is attempting to cover acts of corruption and arbitrary use of power. This belief is being further reinforced by the fact that there have been no public consultations on the amendments… We request you to ensure that the Amendment Bill is referred to a Standing Committee of Parliament or a Select Committee, to facilitate widespread public consultation on the issue.” The letter sent by the NCPRI to Smt. Sonia Gandhi is attached.

Aruna Roy has also written to Smt. Sonia Gandhi on the issue. The letter sent by Aruna Roy states, “…A number of sincere and committed political leaders have expressed their deep concerns with the illegitimate influence of money power in the electoral political process. The Election Commission and IT Authorities have already displayed their inability to effectively control this deep-rooted problem. Political parties themselves are unable to do this either. The only hope is to empower the common citizen to do what they have been doing so courageously and creatively with the RTI- fight corruption and the arbitrary use of power through their straightforward questions and determination to get answers.” The letter sent by Aruna Roy is attached.

The NCPRI and various other organisations including CHRI, SNS and RTI Call-A-Thon have been demanding the RTI Amendment Bill be referred to a Standing Committee to ensure that people have a chance to present their views on the bill. The NCPRI had met with the PM and the concerned Minister Shri Narayanasamy to press the demand. NCPRI also handed over a letter to the PM endorsed by more than 1 lakh people to oppose the amendments to the RTI Act.

Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Venkatesh Nayak, Bhaskar Prabhu & Rakesh Dubbudu (Co-convenors of the NCPRI)

[Copy of the press release can be accessed from here]

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