Cabinet decides against RTI dilution, withdraws amendments
New Delhi: In the wake of strong resistance from activists, the Union Cabinet on Thursday dropped controversial draft amendments to the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The move to draft the amendments had begun six years ago and included, among others, preventing disclosure of public notings on files by officials under the transparency law.
The Cabinet withdrew the planned amendments at a meeting today. Post the Cabinet decision, all file notings can now be accessed through the RTI except those that fall under national security, privacy and protection of commercial interests.
Also, the selection process for appointments to public authorities will also come under public purview now.
According to sources, the decision to withdraw the amendments was taken in view of opposition from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who is reported to be against any move to dilute the Act.
RTI activists and experts had opposed the proposed amendments. Even National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy had also criticised the move.
Speaking at the annual convention of Information Commissioners earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern over “frivolous and vexatious use of the RTI Act”.