Central Information Commission under the new CIC
Recently, Sudhir Bhargava was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner in the country’s Central Information Commission. He was working on the post of Information Commissioner from 2015. 4 other Information Commissioners have been appointed along with them. Now there are 7 members in the Commission, while the maximum sanctioned number is 11. For the appointment of the remaining four members, the Central Government has issued the advertisement and sought applications.
Right to Information Act
The Government of India enacted the Right to Information Act, 2005 to give information about government activities to the citizens of the country and to ensure the most effective use of that information. It was approved by the President on June 15, 2005, and on 12th October this year it became applicable throughout the country. Central Information Commission was constituted under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Wajahat Habibullah was made the country’s first Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava is the ninth Chief Information Commissioner.
Central Information Commission’s Chief Powers and Functions?
The powers and functions of the Central Information Commission have been mentioned in the Sections 18, 19, 20 and 25 of the Right to Information Act.
Initially obtaining and investigating complaints based on the inability to file information applications etc.; It is important to make judgments of the appeal again to provide information.
Apart from this, instructions for maintenance of documents, disclosure of motivation, receipt of complaints on the inability to file an RTI, and investigation etc. are also included in its works.
Also the powers associated with financial penalties and monitoring and reporting etc. are also contained in the Commission.
The decisions of the Commission are final and binding, but they can be challenged in the High Court or the Supreme Court.
Structure of Central Information Commission
There is a provision for establishing state information commissions in Chapter 3 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, and the Central Information Commission and Chapter-4.
The provision for the removal of the post of Union Information Commission in section 12 of this law, provision for the posting of information commissioners and service conditions in section 13 and removal of him from section 14 has been made.
The Central Information Commission has the provision of a Chief Information Commissioner and up to 10 Central Information Commissioners and is appointed by the President.
These appointments are done on the recommendation of the committee headed by the Prime Minister, in which the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister are the members.
DoPT is its nodal ministry
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is the right to information and the nodal department of the Central Information Commission.
Most of the PSUs and authorities have been brought under the RTI Act.
There are arrangements for filing and responding to online RTIs in 2200 government offices and undertakings of the Central Government.
This has been done keeping in mind the commitment to ensure maximum transparency in the functioning of these institutions.
There is now a portal and app for filing an RTI using the latest technology, with the help of which any citizen can enter the RTI from his mobile phone at anytime, from anywhere.
State governments have also been asked to consider the practicality of launching an RTI portal here.
National Informatics Center (NEC) has been asked to assist State Governments in creating an online RTI portal.
What is the law in the Right to Information Act?
Under the Right to Information Act, 2005, the Information Commission is the biggest and the last option for obtaining information.
Under this law, the applicant first applied to the Public Information Officer of the Government Department.
If the answer is not received within 30 days, then the applicant sends his application to the first appellate officer.
If the answer is not received within 45 days, then the applicant appeals to the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission.
Under this law, the Central Information Commission takes second appeals and complaints. In the appropriate cases, the Central Information Commission also imposes a penalty on the Public Information Officer.
If the Commission thinks that a Public Information Officer has deliberately disturbed the petitioner or has not provided the information, then CIC can impose up to Rs. 25 thousand on him.
Chief rights to citizens
Every citizen has the right to ask questions to the government
Right to seek information and ask for a copy of any government document
Right to inspect any government document
Right to inspect any work done by the government
Right to take samples of material used in government work
Right to challenge the decision of the Information Commission to the High Court or the Supreme Court
Annual conference to make citizens aware
Central Information Commission organizes annual conference every year to generate awareness among the citizens towards the right to information. Every year its theme is different. This year its 13th Annual Conference was held in New Delhi in October, 2018. This theme was ‘Implementation of Right to Information and Right to Information, Amendment to Right to Information Act and Right to Information Act’ . The purpose of this conference was to suggest ways to improve transparency and accountability for improving governance.
The Right to Information Act (RTI) Act provides that the citizen will be able to demand information from the government and how the government will be accountable. The main purpose of this Act is to provide transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Public Authority by providing the right to information.