Activists have launched an online petition addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the amendment likely to be made to the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the upcoming parliament session.
“We are informed that the government is thinking of amending the RTI Act to negate the Central Information Commission order that the political parties are public authorities under the act,” said Bharat Dorgra, coordinator of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement Sunday.
“It is likely that these amendments would seek to curtail various other entitlements that have now established the ability of the RTI to fight corruption and the arbitrary use of power by the establishment. Therefore, this petition has been initiated,” Dogra added.
Since the implementation of the RTI Act in 2005, activists have resisted several attempts by the establishment to curtail transparency and accountability, he said.
“When amendments were proposed to the RTI Act in 2009, the government had assured parliament that non-governmental organisations (NGO) and social activists will be consulted on the amendments. We, therefore, expect the government to hold wide ranging public discussions before they even think of amending the law,” said Sailesh Gandhi, an RTIactivist.
The petition, which has 250 signatures so far, has been initiated by NCPRI on the website change.org.