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Rajya Sabha passes Right to Information (Amendment) Bill.



Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on July 25 passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The development comes after the Opposition had asserted that it will refer the bill to a Joint Select Committee over transparency concerns.

Differences between the Opposition and treasury benches had emerged in the Rajya Sabha over sending the RTI Bill to a Select Committee for further scrutiny, forcing two adjournments in the post-lunch period.

The controversial bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on July 22 amid strong opposition protests.

The bill seeks to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005. Through the amendment, the government would be enabled to changing the term of Information Commissioners, determine and carry out deductions in their salaries.

It also changes the status of the Information Commissioners, who were on a par with Election Commissioners as per the original RTI Act.

The Opposition came down heavily on the NDA government with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi saying that the RTI Act now stands on the “brink of extinction”.

Rejecting the Opposition’s charge that the Bill would weaken the RTI Act, the government had said it was fully committed to transparency and autonomy of the institution.




Nirbhaya convict claims ‘forced to have sex’ with co-accused




New Delhi: The counsel for the Nirbhaya case convict Mukesh Singh, who is set to be hanged on February 1, told the apex court on Tuesday that his client has been sexually abused inside the Tihar jail.

Senior advocate Anjana Prakash said this to the Supreme Court during the hearing of Singh’s plea seeking judicial review of the rejection of his mercy plea by the President.

“I was sexually abused in Tihar jail. I was forced to have sexual intercourse with co-accused 31-year-old Akshay. I was also severely beaten up many times.

“All these statements were given by me but these were not placed before the President,” Prakash claimed in her submission before the court.

A bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi was hearing Mukesh’s plea.

Levelling serious accusations against the Tihar Jail authorities, Mukesh’s lawyer added that her 32-year-old client was forced to have sex in front of other prisoners.

Mukesh and five other men, including a juvenile, had brutally gang raped and assaulted a Delhi girl on a moving bus leading to her death in over a month after the incident on December 16, 2012.

Contending that her client has been sentenced to death, Anjana Prakash asked the court “but was he sentenced to be raped?”

She also contended before the court that several supervening circumstances, which included his illegal solitary confinement, were ignored when the mercy petition was rejected by the President.

The court will pronounce it’s verdict on Wednesday.

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