Central Information Commission
The Right to Information Act of 2005 established the Central Information Commission (CIC), an impartial organization. The commission looks into grievances and appeals against government agencies, public sector businesses, financial institutions, and other organizations operating in Union territories. For India’s democracy and effective government to function, it is a crucial authority.
The Central Information Commission is an important part of Indian Polity which an important subject in UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.
Central Information Commission Background
The Right to Information Act, which was passed in 2005, included the creation of the Central Information Commission. Powerful and independent, the Central Information Commission looks into complaints and renders judgments on appeals. It receives grievances and appeals concerning the offices of the Central Government and Union Territories, financial institutions, public sector organizations, and other issues.
All Central Public Authorities are subject to the Commission’s control. The tenure, terms of service, and compensation of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) at the federal and state levels were outlined in the parent statute, the RTI Act of 2005. These clauses were removed by the RTI (Amendment) Act of 2019, which stated that the central government will specify the time and amount of compensation through regulations.
Also Read: State Information Commission
Central Information Commission Composition
A Chief Information Commissioner of India oversees the Central Information Commission, which can include up to 10 information commissioners. Members of the CIC should have exemplary personal lives and a broad knowledge of the law, science, and technology, as well as social work, management, media, governance, etc.
The Central Information Commission, which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes any cabinet ministers of the union named by the Prime Minister as members, is appointed by the President based on the committee’s recommendations. The central government determines the Central Information Commissioner’s and Information Commissioners’ terms of office, which are valid until they turn 65 years old, whichever comes first.
They are not re-appointment-eligible. The central government determines the Chief Information Commissioner’s or Commissioners’ salary, benefits, and working conditions. On the recommendation of the Supreme Court, the President may dismiss the CIC Commissioner for proven misconduct or incompetence.
Also Read: Special Officer for Linguistic Minority
Central Information Commission Power and Function
To take all complaints about information requests made under the RTI Act of 2005 and look into them. It has the authority (suo-moto power) to order an investigation into any matter if there are sufficient grounds. The Commission has the same summoning and documentation authority as a civil court when conducting its investigation.
Receive and look into any complaints from people who haven’t gotten a response to their information request within a certain amount of time, who believe the information provided to them is uncompleted, false, or misleading, or who have any other concerns about obtaining the information. These people may also include people who haven’t been able to submit requests for information because an officer hasn’t been appointed, who think the fees being charged are unreasonable, or who have been refused the information they requested.
The Commission has the authority to order public agencies to obey its decisions. This comprises Instructing a public organization to appoint a Public Information Officer in the absence of one, granting access to information in a specific format Information or categories of information are published, record management, maintenance, and destruction procedures are modified as necessary, official training on the right to information is improved, and a public authority is asked to submit an annual report on the Act’s compliance.
Any record kept by a public authority may be examined by the commission. All such records shall be made available to the Commission throughout the examination, and nothing shall be concealed. Additionally, the CIC submits an annual report on the Act’s implementation to the Government of India. The report is then delivered to both Houses of Parliament.
Central Information Commission Issue Associated
When an appeal or complaint is filed with the Central Information Commission, it typically takes 388 days (more than a year) to resolve it. It is among the most worrisome problems. Since there has never been any paperwork about the Central Information Commission’s selection criteria, there has always been a problem with transparency in the appointment process.
Rarely are public officials held accountable for breaching the law. The CIC still has openings despite repeated orders from the court. The Supreme Court recently decided that the state information commissions and the federal information commission must communicate to the public on the most recent developments on the cases that are pending and the open positions in those commissions.
Central Information Commission and RTI Act
India has used the Right to Information Act and structural reform to fight corruption. Files have been moved with accountability and transparency in open and transparent government operations. Greater transparency has been achieved thanks to the Right to Information Act of 2005 than through any other prior effort.
The creation of the Central Information Commission and State Information Commission is covered by Sections 12 and 15 of the RTI Act, 2005. Some RTI Act of 2005 provisions pertaining to the Central Information Commission are:
- Section 13: The Central Government determines tenure, pay, benefits, and service requirements.
- Section 14: The Information Commissioner and Chief Information Commissioner may be removed. Specifically, the President may remove them on the advice of the Supreme Court.
The Right to Information Act of 2005 and the Central Information Commission have fundamentally altered how government functions and increased accountability and transparency. Accountability (democracy is not a periodic or a five-year event, but a daily plebiscite) and democratic weaknesses are addressed via transparency.
Central Information Commission Draft Rules
The prior five-year term with comparable pay and benefits to the Election Commission has altered. Now the government determines their tenure, authority, living conditions, benefits, and salary. The Central Information Commission’s compensation and benefits should be comparable to those of the Cabinet Secretary, which is considerably less than those of the Election Commission, according to the most recent department of personnel and training.
Additionally, it suggests that they will be demoted to different positions in the Table of Precedence. If it is approved, the sumptuary allowances will decrease by Rs 10,000 per month and the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner will no longer be eligible for a number of additional allowances.
Central Information Commission UPSC
The empty position on the commission has to be filled as soon as practicable. The number of people needed to effectively operate the commission should be determined after a thorough investigation. All public entities should be held responsible to the public under the RTI Act. Additionally, this would end the use of dark money in elections. Additionally, commercial businesses involved in public works projects ought to be covered by the Act.Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.