The State Information Commission

The State Information Commission is an important body and one should know about its functions and composition for the UPSC exam. In this article, we discuss the SIC for the IAS exam.

The State Information Commission is a quasi judicial body. The Right to Information Act of 2005 provides for the creation of not only the Central Information Commission but also a State Information Commission at the state level. Accordingly, all the states have constituted the State Information Commissions through Official Gazette Notifications. The State Information Commission is a high powered independent body which inter-alia looks into the complaints made to it and decide the appeals. It entertains complaints and appeals pertaining to offices, financial institutions, public sector undertakings, etc., under the concerned state government. The Commission consists of a State Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten State Information Commissioners. They are appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Chief Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and a State Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister. They should 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. They should not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory. They should not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business.

Quasi Judicial Powers and Functions of SIC

The quasi judicial powers and functions of the State 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 civil 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. 6. The Commission submits an annual report to the State Government on the implementation of the provisions of this Act. The State Government places this report before the State Legislature.

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