Chapter 51: STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION

Introduction

It is an independent, statutory committee formed under the RTI Act to ensure freedom of information to citizens. It has jurisdiction over state government bodies, PSU and authorities.

Composition:

It has chief information commissioner and up to 10 information commissioners. All are appointed by the president on recommendation of chief minister, cabinet minister nominated by him and leader of opposition in legislative assembly.

Qualification:

Qualification for membership to commission are persons should person of eminence in public life with experience in field of law, science and technology, governance, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration. They should not be MP / MLA’s or connected to any political party, doing some business/ profession or holding office of profit.

Term:

They hold office till age of 65 or 5 years. The information commissioner is eligible for post of state chief information commissioner but can be in office for maximum 5 years including his tenure of information commissioner.

Removal:

Removal is done by governor on grounds of bankruptcy, unsound mind, infirmity of body or mind, sentenced to imprisonment for a crime, or engages in paid employment.

He can also be removed for proved misbehavior or incapacity if SC inquiry finds him guilty. They can resign by writing to governor.

Powers and functions:

1.      Acts as second appellate authority for RTI applications.

2.      Inquires into complaints under RTI Act

3.      Have powers of a civil court. No public record can be withheld from it during inquiry of complaints.

4.      Can secure compliance of its orders from a public authority

5.      Submits annual reports to the state govt which are tabled before the house.

6.      Commission can recommend steps to be taken by an authority to become complaint under RTI.

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