Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC)

Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC)Chapter III of the RTI Act, 2005 provides details about Central Information Commission (CIC), and Chapter IV provides details about State Information Commission (SIC).  Chapter V of the RTI Act provides powers and functions of the Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC).

Constitution of Central Information Commission (CIC):

Section 12 of the RTI Act constitutes Central Information Commission (CIC) as follows:

12 (1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a body to be known as the Central Information Commission to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
(2) The Central Information Commission shall consist of—
(a) the Chief Information Commissioner; and
(b) such number of Central Information Commissioners, not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary.
(4) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the Central Information Commission shall vest in the Chief Information Commissioner who shall be assisted by the Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Central Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.

(7) The headquarters of the Central Intimation Commission shall be at Delhi and the Central Information Commission may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, establish offices at other places in India.

Constitution of State Information Commission (SIC)

Section 15 of the RTI Act constitutes State Information Commission (SIC) as follows:

15(1) Every State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a body to be known as the (name of the State) Information Commission to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
(2) The State Information Commission shall consist of—
(a) the State Chief Information Commissioner, and
(b) such number of State Information Commissioners, not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary.

(4) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the State Information Commission shall vest in the State Chief Information Commissioner who shall be assisted by the State Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the State Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.

(7) The headquarters of the State Information Commission shall be at such place in the State as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify and the State Information Commission may, with the previous approval of the State Government, establish offices at other places in the State.

Powers and Functions of Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC)

Powers of the Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC) under Section (18)

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 tbe 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 (5 of 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 grounds.

Powers of the Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC) under Section 19(8)

19(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 sub-section (/) 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.

Powers of the Central Information Commission (CIC), and State Information Commission (SIC) under Section (20)

20. Penalties.—

(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 (Rs. 250/-) 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 (Rs. 25,000/-):

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, as the case may be.
(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.

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