Mumbai: The recent amendment in the Right Information Act has upset RTI activists in Mumbai who have started sending dissent notes and expression of protest to public representatives on their mobile phones.

Parliament has passed the Bill amending the RTI Act amid objections by the Opposition which alleged that it was an attempt to undermine the law and make the transparency panel a “toothless tiger”.

The RTI amendment bill seeks to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners.

In a related development, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC), had launched an online petition at portal Change.org, urging President Ram Nath Kovind to defend citizens fundamental rights and return the Bill for Parliaments reconsideration.

The petition had received 1,49,683 signatures till Thursday evening and it has been submitted to Kovind's office, he said. “I am appealing to you not to sign the RTI amendment Bill. I beseech you to send it back to Parliament for reconsideration.

This is a cherished right which has been codified by the RTI Act, 2005. It has been rated amongst the best transparency laws in the world,” Gandhi has said in the petition dated July 27.

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