The Centre may possibly refer the Right to Information (Amendment Bill) 2013 to a Parliamentary panel for consultation, said civil society activists Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj after meeting Union Minister V. Narayanasamy on Thursday.

“During the meeting, we conveyed to Mr. Narayanasamy the urgent need for wider public consultations on the proposed amendments,” said Mr. Dey, co-convener of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information.

The development came after a Biju Janata Dal Member of Parliament joined the heated debate and civil society opposition to the proposed amendments to the RTI Act exempting political parties from the purview of the transparency law.

Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Lok Sabha MP, had written to Speaker Meira Kumar that the RTI (Amendment Bill), 2013 should not be passed in any hurry and recommended that the proposed amendment should rather be sent to an appropriate Parliamentary standing committee for “detailed deliberations”, followed by a thorough discussion in the House.

In his letter, dated August 17, Mr. Panda said: “I am writing to point out that this very important proposed legislation requires thorough consideration and discussion, and should not be passed in the din as has become the unfortunate practice for several important Bills recently.”

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