Context

  • Right to Information Act of 2005 provides for the creation of State Information Commission at the state level

  • independent body
  • entertains complaints and appeals under the concerned state government

Composition of State Information Commission

  • State Chief Information Commissioner and not more than 10 State Information Commissioners

Appointment

  • appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the
  • Chief Minister as Chairperson
  • Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly
  • State Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister

Criteria

  • Not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory
  • not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party
  • not carrying on any business or pursuing any profession

Tenure

  • Initially 05 years or 65 years whichever is earlier
  • Now RTI Rules, 2019 has changed it of both CIC & ICs will work for 03 years
  • not eligible for reappointment
  • IC is eligible for appointment as CIC

Removal

Governor can remove under:

  • adjudged an insolvent
  • convicted of an offence (moral turpitude-opinionof the President)
  • engages in office of profit outside his office
  • unfit to continue (opinion of Governor)
  • acquired such financial or other interest
  • mis-behaviour or incapacity (Governor has to refer it to SC for enquiry)
  • salary, allowances and other service conditions shall be such as prescribed by the Central Government

Power and Functions

Duty to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person:

  • who has not been able to submit an information request because of non-appointment of a Public Information Officer / refused information on request/ within specified time limits/ fees charged are unreasonable/ incomplete information/misleading/false
  • suo-moto power
  • powers of a civil court
    • summoning and enforcing /give oral or written evidence
    • discovery and inspection of documents
    • evidence on affidavit
    • requisitioning any public record from any court or office
    • issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents
  • all public records must be given during inquiry
  • imposing penalties
  • seeking an annual report / rejecting the application
  • submits an annual report to the Central Government which will be placed before both the houses of Parliament

Note: When a public authority does not conform to the provisions of this Act, the Commission may recommend (to the authority) steps which ought to be taken for promoting such conformity

Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • State Information Commissioner shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central government. Before this amendment, their term was fixed for 5 years.
  • salary, allowances and other service conditions of the State Chief Information Commissioner and a State Information Commissioner shall be such as prescribed by the Central Government.

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