As you may be aware, the Indian Parliament has been in session since June 2019. Among the various legislations which have been passed, the Amendments to the RTI Act and the UAPA Act are facing strong criticism from Civil Society Organisations in India. There are several wide ranging implications to the passage of these laws, and several protests are also taking place at the moment against these laws. Some news reports on the following, along with brief descriptions of the amendments are given below:
a. Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019: The Amendment brings the determination of the term and salaries of the Information Commissioners within the ambit of the executive, and it is being argued by several people in favour of the RTI Act, that such a move will affect the impartiality and independence of the Information Commission.
b. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019: The Amendment allows for individuals to also be designated as terrorist, in comparison to the earlier law which only allowed organisations to be labelled as such. This move has the potential to give the National Investigation Agency with excessive powers which may in turn affect the life and liberty of individuals.