National Conference and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Saturday expressed concerns over the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill.
NC's Member of Parliament from Anantnag, Hasnain Masood,while participating in the discussion in Lok Sabha, said, "The proposedamendment is a lethal blow to RTI movement and would denude the institution ofits autonomy."
Highlighting the importance of RTI in a democratic system,Masoodi stated, "RTI Act 2005 was an important milestone in history next onlyto the Constitution, as it gave even poorest the right to have access toinformation and a role in governance."
The NC leader pointed out that statutorily provided termsand conditions of CIC and Information Commissioners insulate the Commissionagainst pressure and guarantee institutional autonomy. "Once terms andconditions are left to the government and not statutorily fixed, the governmentwould be free to accomplish indirectly what it cannot achieve directly."
Meanwhile, CPI (M) leader, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, claimedthat the RTI Amendment Bill is an attack on the transparency movement.
"The amendment is an attack to democratic right toinformation. It (RTI Amendment Bill) seeks to empower the central government tomake rules to decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of serviceof Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also ofState Information Commissions," Tarigami said.
He added, "This will fundamentally weaken the institution ofthe information commissions as it will adversely impact their ability tofunction in an independent manner."