Central Information Commission

Central Information Commission UPSC

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. Satyanand Mishra is the current Chief Information Commissioner.

He is being assisted by seven Information Commissioners – Mrs. Annapurna Dixit,Shri M.L. Sharma,Mrs. Deepak Sandhu,Mrs. Sushma Singh,Shri Rajiv Mathur,Shri Vijai Sharma and Shri Basant Seth. Central Information Commission (CIC) The Central Information Commission was established by the Central Government in 2005. It was constituted through an Official Gazette Notification under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (2005). Hence, it is not a constitutional body. But it has quasi judicial powers.

The Central Information Commission is a high-powered independent body which inter alia looks into the complaints made to it and decides the appeals. It entertains complaints and appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc., under the Central Government and the Union Territories.

Quasi Judicial Powers and Functions

The powers and functions of the Central Information Commission are:

  1. It is the duty of the Commission to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person:
  2. The Commission can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
  3. While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of the following matters :
  4. During the inquiry of a complaint, the Commission may examine any record which is under the control of the public authority and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds. In other words, all public records must be given to the Commission during inquiry for examination.
  5. The Commission has the power to secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority. This includes:
  6. The Commission submits an annual report to the Central Government on the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

The Central Government places this report before each House of Parliament. The Central Information Commission/State Information Commission has a Quasi Judicial duty to receive complaints from any person –

  • who has not been able to submit an information request because a PIO has not been appointed
  • who has been refused information that was requested;
  • who has received no response to his/her information request within the specified time limits ;
  • who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable ;
  • who thinks information given is incomplete or false or misleading ;and any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law.

Quasi Judicial Power to order inquiry if there are reasonable grounds

CIC/SCIC will have powers of Civil Court such as –

• summoning and enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;

• requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;

• receiving evidence on affidavit ;

• requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office

• issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents • any other matter which may be prescribed.

Also see-

Indian Independence Act 1947