Powers and Functions

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Powers and Functions

 

The Powers and Functions of the  Information Commission are enumerated under chapter 5 of the RTI Act.

 

1. Enquiry into Complaints

1.     It shall be the duty of the Commission to receive  and inquire  into  complaints.

2.     Where the Commission is satisfied  that there are reasonable grounds to  inquire  into the matter, it may initiate  an inquiry thereof.

3.     While conducting an  inquiry into a complaint, the Commission shall  have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying  a suit under  the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the matters given under section  18 (3) of the Act.

4.     During an inquiry into a complaint  under this Act,  the Commission can examine any  record  to which the RTI Act applies which is under the control  of the Public Authority.

 

2.  Deciding 2nd Appeals

1.     Section 19(3) of the RTI Act provides for 2nd appeal before the Central/State Information Commission.

2.     The 2nd appeal shall lie within 90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made by or was actually received  from the first appellate authority.

3.     The Information Commission may admit the 2nd appeal after the expiry of the period of 90 days, if it is satisfied that  the appellant  was prevented by sufficient  cause from  filing the appeal in time.

4.     While making a decision,   the State Information Commission has the power to require the Public Authority to comply with the Provisions of the RTI Act:

a.     By providing access to information
b.     By appointing  the State Public Information Officer
c.      By publishing  certain information or categories of information
d.     By making necessary changes  to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management and destruction of records
e.     By enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its officials
f.       By providing with an annual report in compliance   with clause (b) of sub-section  (1) of section 4 of the Act.
 

 

3. Awarding Compensation

     The RTI Act empowers the Information Commission to require the Public Authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.  
 

4. Imposing Penalties 

          The State Information Commission has the power to impose penalty on the State Public Information Officer for the  following  defaults:
 Where the State Public Information Officer has –
1.     Without reasonable cause refused to receive an application for information or   has not furnished information  within the specified time limit or
2.     Malafidely  denied the request  for information,
3.     Knowingly  given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information,
4.     Destroyed information which was the subject of the request,
5.     Obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information.
 

5.  Recommending for disciplinary Action

             Where the State Information Commission, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the State Public Information Officer has, without any reasonable cause and persistently, failed to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, the Commission can recommend for disciplinary action against the State Public Information Officer, under the service rules applicable to him under section 20(2) of the Act.

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