The Central government constituted the Central Information Commission (CIC) as per S. 12 (1) of the Right to Information Act (hereafter the Act). The CIC consists of the Central Information Commissioners and other Information Commissioners (also called RTI Commissioner), not exceeding ten in number.
These Commissioners are appointed by the President of India on being recommended by a committee constituting the Prime Minister, who is the Chairman of the committee; the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha; and a Union Cabinet minister who has been nominated by the Prime Minister.
RTI Commissioner: Important Points
The RTI commissioner is responsible for general management, superintendence and direction of the working of the Central Information Commission.
He is entitled exercise all his powers and fulfill his duties as an autonomous authority without being subjected to third party intervention.
The headquarters of the Chief Information Commissioner is located in Delhi. However, with the prior consent of the central government, other offices can be set up in different cities.
RTI Commissioner: Appointment and Removal
Persons appointed to the post are usually persons of prominence in public life with knowledge and experience in varied fields like law, management, governance, science, technology, social service, mass media, administration, etc.
No person who is a Member of Parliament or a member of any of the State Legislatures can be appointed to the position.
Also a person appointed as Commissioner should not hold any office of profit or be associated with any political party, or own a business of his own, or be currently employed in any profession.
- A person can hold office as Commissioner for a maximum of five years and is not eligible for re-election.
- Any person who is 65 years of age or older is not eligible to hold the office of the Chief Information Commissioner.
- When a person holds the office of the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner, the combined duration of holding the aforementioned offices shall not be more than five years.
- The Chief information Commissioner can be removed in the manner as mentioned in S. 14 of the Act.
RTI Commissioner: Powers
1. It is the duty of the Commissioner to receive complaints and enquire on such matters where the complainant was unable to submit the complaint to the Central Public Information Commissioner or the State Information Commissioner:
a person who was denied access to any information as per the Act;
person who has not received any response to his enquiry within the time limit specified under this Act; or
a person who has been directed to pay any amount of fees or any other payment in lieu of the information which he finds unreasonable; a person who was provided incomplete, false or misleading information; or
in any other matter relating access to information as per this act.
2. When the RTI Commissioner is satisfied of the complaint, he may initiate an enquiry.
3. The RTI Commissioner is vested with the same powers as a civil court when it is trying matters under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. These powers relate to the following
Summoning someone to attend the proceedings and give evidence, oral or written.
Relating to discovery and inspection of documents.
Requisitioning public records or their copies from a court or an office.
Examination of witnesses by way of summons.
Evidence received on affidavit.
Other matters which may be prescribed.
4. He may enquire into a matter where a Central/State Public Information Officer does not give a decision within the stipulated 30 days time or the party seeking information is dissatisfied with the decision.
The official website is here.
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