The SC reprimands the center for not submitting a response to the 2019 RTI changes
The Apex Court admonished Union of India for failing to submit its response to an objection to the 2019 RTI amendments and the rules set out therein.
The related written petition was tabled by former Union Minister and Congressman Jairam Ramesh to challenge changes to the 2019 Right to Information Act.
The amendments to the law include changing the term of office of the information commissioners and adjusting their wage and service conditions according to the implementation rules to be formulated by the government.
These changes were challenged on the grounds that there was no rational link between the proposed changes and the subject matter of the law.
The lawyer also alleged that the amendment violated the golden triangle of the Indian Constitution, that is, Articles 14, 19 (1) (a) and 21.
The attorney also alleged that absolute power had been extended to the central government to dictate the salaries, allowances and conditions of central and state information commissioners.
The Supreme Court addressed the notice to the Center in January 2020, and as of that date the Center has not submitted its response.
The bank asked the attorney, who appeared on behalf of the center, why the response had not been submitted.
The bank stated that this matter, which is of paramount importance, should not be taken lightly as the invalid part of the law has been challenged.
At the Center’s request, the court gave two weeks to respond, as it has been a year since the notice was issued.
The bank also instructed that the matter would be raised at the next final disposal hearing.