The Government is planning to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Bill as proposed by the Supreme Court (SC) and pass it with a simple majority.
Previously, the SC informed the Parliament that five Sections of the RTI Bill were inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution and therefore a special two thirds majority of Parliament was needed for the approval of the Bill in its present form.
Section 5(1)(a) of the Bill was inconsistent with Sections 3, 4, 12(1) and 14(1)(a) of the Constitution while Sections 9(2)(a), 19, 43(a) and another provision in Section 43 of the Bill were inconsistent with Sections 3, 4, 12(1), 14, and 55 of the Constitution.
The SC however permitted the passing of the Bill with a simple majority of the House if the Sections inconsistent with the Constitution would be amended in a manner to remove the inconsistencies.
Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Mass Media, Karunaratne Paranavithana informed that a one to two day debate regarding the Bill would take place early June.
“This is not to say that we do not have two thirds majority, which we do have, but simply to say that we are seriously considering the amendments suggested by the SC. We believe that the SC by pointing out the inconsistencies of the Bill in relation to the Constitution has strengthened the Bill,” he explained.