Central Information Commission
The central government shall constitute a body of Central information commission by giving notification in official Gazette.
“The Central Information Commission has been constituted with effect from 12-10-2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.”
Central Information Commission, official site, Retrieved on 21 st December 2017
The Commission has certain powers and functions mentioned in sections 18, 19, 20 and 25 of the RTI Act, 2005. These broadly relate to adjudication in second appeal for giving information; direction for record keeping, suo motu disclosures receiving and enquiring into a complaint on inability to file RTI etc; imposition of penalties and also Monitoring and Reporting including preparation of an Annual Report. The decisions of the Commission are final and also binding.
Constitution of Central Information Commission
The Central Information Commission shall consist of :
- the Chief Information Commissioner; and
- such number of Central Information Commissioners, not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary.
The chief Information commissioner and also the Information commissioner appointed by president on recommendation of committee. Such committee consist of :
- the Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee;
- the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha; and
- a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.
The general supervision, direction and management of affairs of the Central Information Commission shall lay with the Chief Information Commissioner along with Information Commissioners.
The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not be member of Parliament or also of the Legislature of any State or Union territory. They shall also not hold any office of profit or connected to any political party or also carrying out any business or profession.
The Chief Information Commissioner and also information Commissioners shall have wide knowledge and also experience in fields of law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance and shall also be persons of eminence in public life. It have headquarters at Delhi and also with the previous approval of the Central Government, establish offices at other places in India.
Powers and functions
The Central Information Commission/State Information Commission has a duty to receive complaints from any person –
- who has not been able to submit an information request because a Public Information Officer has not been appointed;
- been refused information ;
- has not received response to his/her information request within the specified time limits;
- who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable;
- any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law;
- who thinks information given is incomplete or false or misleading.
1. Power to order inquiry on reasonable grounds.
2. Central Information Commission and also State Information Commission will have powers of Civil Court such as –
- summoning and also enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and also to produce documents or things;
- requiring the discovery and also inspection of documents;
- receiving evidence on affidavit;
- requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office;
- issuing summons for examination of witnesses and also documents;
- any other matter which may be prescribed.
3. All records covered by this law (including those covered by exemptions) must be given to Central Information Commission and also State Information Commission during inquiry for examination.
4. Power to secure enforceability of its decisions from the Public Authority includes-
- providing access to information in a particular form;
- directing the public authority to appoint a Public Information Officer and also Assistant Public Information Officer where none exists;
- publishing information or categories of information;
- making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and also destruction of records;
- enhancing training provision for officials on Right To Information;
- seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this law;
- require it to compensate for any loss or also other detriment suffered by the applicant;
- impose penalties under this law; or
- reject the application. (S.18 and S.19)
Term of Office
1. Chief Information Commissioner
The Chief information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of appointment. He or she shall not also be eligible for reappointment. Provided that no Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office after he attains the age of sixty. The salaries and allowances payable is same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner.
2. Information commissioner
Every Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date of appointment or till he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. He or she shall not also be eligible for reappointment. Provided that every Information Commissioner shall, on vacating his office under this sub-section be eligible for appointment as the Chief Information Commissioner in the manner specified in sub-section (3) of section 12. Further provided that the Information Commissioner is appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five years in aggregate. The salaries and allowances payable is same as that of the an Election Commissioner:
The Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner may, at any time resign from his office, by writing under his hand addressed to the President.
Removal of Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner
Following are the grounds for removal of Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner:
- By order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court
- President may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry
- If declared to be insolvent;
- Has been convicted of an offence which involves moral turpitude;
- Engaged in any other employment during the term of office;
- In the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body;
- Has acquired such financial or also other interest as is likely to affect prejudicial his functions.