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RTI Act
CIC seeks info on amendment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 21
The Central Information Commission (CIC), the highest arbitrator on the right to information in the country, has asked the UPA government to place before it entire details on the amendment it wanted to make in the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The direction came on a petition moved before the CIC by Aruna Roy and Shekhar Singh, following media reports that the cabinet has already given its approval to the proposed amendment in its meeting held earlier.

Roy, a Megsaysay award winner, and Singh had moved the CIC after the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) had rejected their application for furnishing the details about the proposed amendment under the RTI itself.

They initially filed an application under the RTI before the cabinet secretariat, which had routed it to the DOPT.

Though the CIC upheld the DOPT decision denying the details of the proposed amendment to them, it directed the government to place the draft or any other material before it in a “sealed cover” for perusal as to know the nature of amendments.

The CIC rejected their petition mainly on the ground that it was yet to be fully established whether the cabinet has actually taken the decision for amending the Act or not.

Since the situation was not fully clear, a direction for sharing the said information with the petitioner could not be issued.

If at all any decision was taken by the cabinet, the government was asked by the CIC, headed by chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, to submit the entire material.

The chief public information officer of the DOPT had rejected the petition of Roy stating that the situation vis-ŕ-vis the cabinet decision on the proposed amendment has not changed, therefore, it was not possible to part with the details at this stage.

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