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Central Information Commission

Who are We

Information Commissions

How is Central Information Commission constituted?

  • Under the provision of Section-12 of RTI Act 2005 the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazatte,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.

What is the eligibility criteria and what is the process of appointment of CIC/IC?

  • Section 12(3) of the RTI Act 2005 provides as follows.
    (i) The Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committe;
    (ii) The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha ; and
    (iii). A Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Section 12(5) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology,social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.
  • Section 12(6) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory as the case may be , or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.

What is the term of office and other service conditions of CIC?

  • Section 13 of the RTI Act 2005 provides that 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:
  • Section 13(5)(a) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner.

What is the term of office and other service conditions of IC?

  • Section 13(2) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the 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 as such Information Commissioners provided.
  • 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 of the RTI Act 2005:
  • Provided further that where the Information Commissioner is appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five years in aggregate as the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner.
  • Section 13(5)(b) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of an Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of an Election Commissioner.

What are the powers and functions of Information Commissions?

  • Complaints


    Section-18. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central
    Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to
    receive and inquire into a complaint from any person,—

    • (a) Who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information
      Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, either by
      reason that no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because the
      Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public
      Information Officer, as the case may be, has refused to accept his or her
      application for information or appeal under this Act for forwarding the same to
      the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer or
      senior officer specified in sub-section (1) of section 19 or the Central
      Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case
      may be;
    • (b) Who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;
    • (c)Who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to
      information within the time limit specified under this Act;
    • (d) Who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers
      unreasonable;
    • (e) Who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false
      information under this Act; and
    • (f) In respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to
      records under this Act.
  • (2) Where the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission,
    as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the
    matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.
  • (3) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the
    case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same
    powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil
    Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters, namely:—

    • (a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to
      give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;
    • (b) Requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
    • (c) Receiving evidence on affidavit;
    • (d) Requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;
    • (e) Issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and
    • (f) Any other matter, which may be prescribed.
  • (4) Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of
    Parliament or State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information
    Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may, during
    the inquiry of any complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act
    applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record may be
    withheld from it on any ground.
  • Appeals
    Section-19 -
    • (1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified
      in sub-section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a
      decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer,
      as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the
      receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the
      Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may
      be, in each public authority:
      Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of
      thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient
      cause from filing the appeal in time.
    • (2) Where an appeal is preferred against an order made by a Central Public
      Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, under
      section 11 to disclose third party information, the appeal by the concerned third party
      shall be made within thirty days from the date of the order.
    • (3) A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within
      ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was
      actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information
      Commission:
      Provided that the Central Information Commission or the State Information
      Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period
      of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause
      from filing the appeal in time.
    • (4) If the decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public
      Information Officer, as the case may be, against which an appeal is preferred relates
      to information of a third party, the Central Information Commission or State
      Information Commission, as the case may be, shall give a reasonable opportunity of
      being heard to that third party.
    • (5) In any appeal proceeding, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was
      justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information
      Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request.
    • (6) An appeal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of within
      thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding
      a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for
      reasons to be recorded in writing.
    • (7) The decision of the Central Information Commission or State Information
      Commission, as the case may be, shall be binding.
    • (8) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information
      Commission, as the case may be, has the power to—
      (a) Require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to
      secure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including—
      (i) By providing access to information, if so requested, in a particular form;
      (ii) By appointing a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information
      Officer, as the case may be;
      (iii) By publishing certain information or categories of information;
      (iv)By making necessary changes to its practices in relation to the maintenance,
      management and destruction of records;
      (v) By enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its
      officials;
      (vi) By providing it with an annual report in compliance with clause (b) of subsection
      (1) of section 4;
      (b) Require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or
      other detriment suffered;

      (c) Impose any of the penalties provided under this Act;
      (d) Reject the application.
    • (9) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the
      case may be, shall give notice of its decision, including any right of appeal, to
      the complainant and the public authority.)
    • (10) The Central Information Commission or State Information
      Commission, as the case may be, shall decide the appeal in accordance with
      such procedure as may be prescribed.
  • Penalties
    Section-20 -
  • (1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information
    Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is
    of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
    Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused
    to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the
    time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for
    information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or
    destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any
    manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and
    fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so
    however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand
    rupees:
    Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
    Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of
    being heard before any penalty is imposed on him
    Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and
    diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
    Information Officer.
  • (2) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information
    Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is
    of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
    Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause and
    persistently, failed to receive an application for information or has not furnished
    information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely
    denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or
    misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request
    or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall recommend for
    disciplinary action against the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public
    Information Officer, as the case may be, under the service rules applicable to him.

    What is the reporting procedure?

    • Section 25 of the RTI Act 2005 provides that (1) the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission ,as the case may be, shall ,as soon as practicable after the end of each year, prepare a report on the implementation of the provisions of this Act during that year and forward a copy thereof to the appropriate Government.
    • (2)Each Ministry or Department shall, in relation to the Public Authorities within their jurisdiction, collect and provide such information to the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission ,as the case may be, as is required to prepare the report under this section and comply with the requirements concerning the furnishing of that information and keeping of records for the purposes of this section.
    • (3)Each report shall state in respect of the year to which the report relates-
      (a)The number of request made to each public authority;
      (b) The number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the document pursuant to the requests, the provision of this act under which these decisions were made and number of times such provisions were invoked;
      (c) The number of appeals referred to the the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission ,as the case may be, for review, the nature of appeals and outcomes of the appeals;
      Particulars of any disciplinary action taken against any officer in respect of the administration of this Act;
      (e) The amount of charges collected by each public authority under this Act;
      (f) Any facts which indicate an effort by the public authorities to administer and implement the spirit and intention of this Act;
      (g) Recommendations for reform, including recommendations in respect of particular public authorities, for the development, improvement, modernization, reforms or amendments to this Act or other legislation or common law or any other matter relevant for operationalising the right to access information.