What are the powers and functions of Information Commissions?

  1. The Central Information Commission/State Information Commission has a duty to receive complaints from any person -
    1. who has not been able to submit an information request because a PIO has not been appointed;
    2. who has been refused information that was requested;
    3. who has received no response to his/her information request within the specified time limits;
    4. who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable;
    5. who thinks information given is incomplete or false or misleading; and;
    6. any other matter relating to obtaining information under this law.
  2. Power to order inquiry if there are reasonable grounds.
  3. CIC/SCIC will have powers of Civil Court such as - 
    1. summoning and enforcing attendance of persons, compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;
    2. requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
    3. receiving evidence on affidavit;
    4. requisitioning public records or copies from any court or office;
    5. issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents;
    6. any other matter which may be prescribed.
  4. All records covered by this law (including those covered by exemptions) must be given to CIC/SCIC during inquiry for examination.
  5. Power to secure compliance of its decisions from the Public Authority includes- 
    1. providing access to information in a particular form;
    2. directing the public authority to appoint a PIO/APIO where none exists;
    3. publishing information or categories of information;
    4. making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and destruction of records;
    5. enhancing training provision for officials on RTI; ;
    6. seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this law;
    7. require it to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the applicant;
    8. impose penalties under this law; or
    9. reject the application. (S.18 and S.19)
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