Central Information Commission

The Central Information Commission is an important authority in India needed for the smooth functioning of democracy and good governance. In this article, you can read all about the CIC for the IAS exam.

The Chief Information Commission (CIC) is the authorized body in India to act upon complaints received from individuals who have been unable to submit requests of information to a Central or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not having been appointed, or the respective officer refused to entertain the application under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act). The Central Information Commission is not a constitutional body.

The CIC was constituted with effect from 12th October 2005 under the RTI Act 2005. Its jurisdiction extends to all central public authorities.

Aspirants preparing for Civil Services exam can go through other such bodies on the links provided below-

  1. Types of Constitutional Bodies
  2. Constitutional, Statutory and Quasi-Judicial Bodies

Central Information Commission Composition

Members in CIC – The CIC is headed by the Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten Information Commissioners are there for the assistance of CIC. The Chief Information Commissioner holds office for five years.
At present (2019), the Commission has six Information Commissioners apart from the Chief Information Commissioner.

Appointment of the commissioner in CIC – The commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.

Tenure of Office: The Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central Government or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
They are not eligible for reappointment.

Role of the Central Information Commission

  1. Order enquiry into any matter on reasonable grounds only (suo-moto power).
  2. Secure compliance of its decisions from any public authority.
  3. Receive and inquire into a complaint from any person:
    • Who has not received any response to his request for information within a specified time
    • Who deems the information given to him/her incomplete, false or misleading, and any other matter related to securing the information
    • Who has been unable to submit a request for information due to the non-appointment of an officer
    • Who considers the fees so charged unreasonable
    • Who was refused the information requested
  4. The commission has the power to examine any record under the control of the public authority. All such records have to be given to the Commission during the examination and nothing shall be withheld.
  5. During inquiries, the CIC has the powers of a civil court, such as the powers to:
    • Summon and enforce the attendance of persons, and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and produce documents or things
    • Require the discovery and inspection of documents
    • Receive evidence on affidavit
    • Requisition public records or copies from any office or court
    • Issue summons for the examination of documents or witnesses
    • Any other matter that may be prescribed
  6. The CIC also submits an annual report to the GOI on the implementation of the provisions of the Act. This report is then placed before both the Houses of Parliament.

Candidates can know about relevant commissions of India for comprehensive preparation –

To know more about the list of Commissions and Committees, visit the linked page.

Salaries of CIC and ICs Under Right to Information Rules 2019

The RTI Act, 2005 specified the tenure, terms of service, and salaries of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) at the central and state levels, in the parent law.  The RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 removed these provisions and stated that the central government will notify the term and quantum of salary through rules.

  1. It provided that the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner (of Centre as well as States) shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central Government. Before this amendment, their term was fixed for 5 years.
  2. It removed the provisions regarding deductions in salary of the Chief Information Commissioner, an Information Commissioner, the State Chief Information Commissioner, and a State Information Commissioner due to pension or any other retirement benefits received by them for their previous government service.
  3. It provided that the salary, allowances, and other service conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner (of Centre as well as States) shall be such as prescribed by the Central Government.

Central Information Commissioner – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions on Central Information Commission

Q 1. Who appoints the Chief Information Commissioner?

Ans. The Chief Information Commissioner is appointed by the President, on the recommendation of a committee including the Prime MinisterLeader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Indian Prime Minister.

Q 2. Who is the current Central Information Commissioner?

Ans. Mr. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha is the present Central Information Commissioner. He took the position in November 2020.

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