Don't use '303' to massacre RTI: Karti

“The ruling party—the BJP –has 303 MPs in this House and 303 has many connotations. IPC 303, many lawyers here would know, refers to the death sentence. I hope the government will not use their 303 to give a death sentence to the spirit of RTI,” Karti said while participating in a debate on the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. (DH File Photo)

Opposing the Right to Information (RTI) Act amendment bill in the Lok Sabha, Congress member Karti Chidambaram on Monday took a swipe at the Modi government, saying it should not use its “303 to massacre the spirit of the RTI.”

“The ruling party—the BJP –has 303 MPs in this House and 303 has many connotations. IPC 303, many lawyers here would know, refers to the death sentence. I hope the government will not use their 303 to give a death sentence to the spirit of RTI,” Karti said while participating in a debate on the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

He asked the government to withdraw the bill, saying it “undermines” the independence and autonomy of the information commissioners.

“There is a former commissioner of police in this House. 303 also refers to the standard-issue rifle, which is used by the constables even today. The 303 rifle was used by the brutal Gen Dyer to commit the horrendous massacre at Jallianwala Bagh. I hope the government does not use its 303 to massacre the spirit of the RTI,” he said.

Participating in the debate, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) member Asaduddin Owaisi said the government has brought the amendment bill and it wants to “create fear” among the information commissioners.

“Government is scared of applications (filed under the RTI) at a fee of Rs 10. A common man is being killed with this bill. We cannot allow this,” he said, opposing the bill.

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