The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, which came into force on 12 October 2005, marked a higher level of evolution of India’s democratic system. The Right to Information Act of 2005 provides for the creation of not only the Central Information Commission but also a State Information Commission at the state level. Accordingly, Rajasthan Information Commission (RIC) was constituted on April 18, 2006.
Composition of State Information Commission
- The Commission consists of a State Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten State Information Commissioners.
- They are appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:
- The Chief Minister as Chairperson,
- The Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and
- A State Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister.
- They should be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.
- They should not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory.
- They should not hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business.
Tenure & Service Conditions:
- The State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioners hold office for 5 years or until they attain age of 65.
- They are not eligible for reappointment.
- Salary, allowances and other service conditions of the Chief Station IC are similar to Election Commissioner and that of State IC’s are similar to those of Chief Secretary of State Government.
Powers & Functions:
The quasi judicial powers and functions of the State Information Commission are:
- It is the duty of the Commission 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 (PIO).
- Who has been refused requested information
- Who has not received response within specified time-limits.
- Who thinks fees charged are unreasonable.
- Who thinks information is incomplete, misleading of false.
- Any other matter relating to obtaining information.
- The Commission can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
- While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of civil matters:
- During the inquiry of a complaint, the Commission may examine any record which is under the control of the public authority and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds. In other words, all public records must be given to the Commission during inquiry for examination.
- The Commission has the power to secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority.
- The Commission submits an annual report to the State Government on the implementation of the provisions of this Act. The State Government places this report before the State Legislature
Rajasthan State Information Commission:
Rajasthan Information Commission (RIC) was constituted on April 18, 2006. Shri M.D. Kaurani was the first State Chief Information Commissioner. Shri T.Srinivasan was the second and after completion of his tenure, Shri Suresh Chaudhary is currently incharge. Apart from CIC there are two other Information Commissioners in Rajasthan. Sh. Chandra Mohan Meena & Shri Ashutosh Sharma are IC-1 & IC 2 respectively.
RIC is the final appellate authority with regard to the matters mentioned in Right to Information Act, 2005. Its decisions are final and binding (subject to decision of writ in High Court against RIC’s verdict). RIC has also been empowered to receive and inquire into a written complaint from a person, who has been unable to extract information from any Public Information Officer (PIO) or any such PIO has refused to entertain his or her application for obtaining information or appeal under this Act.