Cabinet set to scrap go-ahead to RTI changes
Sources told The Indian Express that the decision comes after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi indicated to the government her opposition to the proposed changes. RTI activists had experts had questioned the logic, with several National Advisory Council (NAC) members like Aruna Roy also criticising the proposed amendments.
In July 2006, the Cabinet had cleared the amendments, which has been finalised after many government departments and organisations like the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Another amendment cleared by the Cabinet on the demand of the UPSC was aimed at exempting the competitive examination process from the RTI ambit. The proposal was to amend Section 2 (i)(a) of the RTI Act.
However, the enabling Bill was never introduced in Parliament due to strong opposition by the activists.
While the government had taken the stand that file notings were exempted under the transparency laws in countries like the US, UK and Australia, the activists had said that there was no need for the amendments.
The then Central Information Commissioner O P Kejriwal had also criticised the decision to exclude file notings from the purview of the RTI, saying it would take “life out of the law”.
However, the government is still to take a final decision on amending the Act