Sunday, 17 January 2016

Central Information Commission

The Central Information Commission established in 2005 is set up under the Right to Information Act
(RTI Act) is the authorised body, under the Government of India to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not having been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the RTI Act.

Constitution of the Central Information Commission
Section 12(1) of the RTI Act provides for the constitution of the Central Information Commission by the Central Government. The Central Information Commission is consisted of:-
1.       Chief Information Commissioner; and
2.       Not more than 10 Information Commissioners

Appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner & the Information Commissioners
The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of—
         i.            the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee;
       ii.            the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha; and
      iii.            a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

Powers and functions of Information Commissions
1. The Central Information Commission/State Information Commission has a duty to receive complaints from any person - 
a.       who has not been able to submit an information request because a PIO has not been appointed ;
b.      who has been refused information that was requested;
c.       who has received no response to his/her information request within the specified time limits ;
d.      who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable ;
e.      who thinks information given is incomplete or false or misleading ;and
f.        any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law.

2. Power to order inquiry if there are reasonable grounds.

3. Central Information Commission/State Information Commission will have powers of Civil Court such as -
a.       summoning and enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;
b.      requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
c.       receiving evidence on affidavit ;
d.      requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office
e.      issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents
f.        any other matter which may be prescribed.

4. All records covered by this law (including those covered by exemptions) must be given to CIC/SCIC during inquiry for examination.

5. Power to secure compliance of its decisions from the Public Authority includes-
a.       providing access to information in a particular form;
b.      directing the public authority to appoint a PIO/APIO where none exists;
c.       publishing information or categories of information;
d.      making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and destruction of records ;
e.      enhancing training provision for officials on RTI;
f.        seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this law;
g.       require it to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the applicant ;
h.      impose penalties under this law; or
i.         reject the application. (S.18 and S.19)

The first Chief Information Commissioner was Wajahat Habibullah. The present Chief Information Commissioner is R. K. Mathur.

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