Central Information Commission (CIC)
- The Central Information Commission is a high-powered independent body which inter alia looks into the complaints made to it and decides the appeals.
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) set up under the Right to Information Act is the authorized quasi judicial body, established in 2005,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.
- Under the provision of Section-12 of RTI Act 2005 the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette,constitute a body to be known as the Central Information Commission.
- The Central Information Commission shall consist of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and such number of Central Information Commissioners not exceeding 10 as may be deemed necessary.
- All are appointed by the president on recommendation of prime minister, union minister nominated by him and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha.
- They hold office till age of 65 or 5 years. The information commissioner is eligible for post of chief information commissioner but can be in office for maximum 5 years including his tenure of information commissioner.
- Removal is done by president on grounds of bankruptcy, unsound mind, infirmity of body or mind, sentenced to imprisonment for a crime, or engages in paid employment.
- He can also be removed for proved misbehavior or incapacity if SC inquiry finds him guilty. They can resign by writing to president.
- It Acts as second appellate authority for RTI applications.
- Inquires into complaints under RTI Act
- Have powers of a civil court. No public record can be withheld from it during inquiry of complaints.
- Can secure compliance of its orders from a public authority
- Submits annual reports to the central govt which are tabled before the house.
- Commission can recommend steps to be taken by an authority to become complaint under RTI.
Salient Features of Right To Information Act 2005
- Replaced Freedom of Information Act 2002.
- Jammu and Kashmir has separate Right To Information Act – RTI 2009.
- RTI relaxes restrictions placed by Official Secrets Act 1923.
- 3 Levels – Public Information Officer, First Appellate Authority, Central Information Commission(CIC).
- Time period for Public Information Officer : Expeditiously or within 30 daysfrom the date of receipt by public authority.
- Maximum time gap for 1st appeal : 30 days since limit of supply of information is expired.
- Time period for Appellate Authority : Within 30 daysor in exceptional cases 45 days from the date of receipt by public authority.
- Maximum time gap for 2nd appeal : 90 days since limit of supply of information is expired.
- RTI act also asks for computerization and proactively publish information.
- Bodies applicable under RTI : Constitutional bodies at center and state ( Legislature, Executive, Judiciary), bodies/NGOs owned/financed by government, privatized public utility companies.
- Bodies excluded under RTI : Central Intelligence and Security Agencies, agencies of state specified through notification. The exclusion is not absolute.
- The Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall not be eligible for reappointment.
- 31 sections and 6 chapters in the act.
- Section 8 deals with information exempted under the purview of this act
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