RTI Refers to the Right to Information Act under which any citizen of India can ask for certain information from the authorities operated by the Government. To know more about the Right to Information Act 2005, Click here.
The Central Information Commissioner is the head of the Government body called as the Central Information Commission. Read further to know more about the Central Information Commissioner and his role and importance in the Right to Information Act.
Central Information Commissioner: His Role under RTI Act
The Central Information Commissioner is the head of the Central Information Commission which is an authorized government body set up under the Right to Information Act 2005.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has been set up in order to help those individuals who have not been able to submit their RTI Applications to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer. The reasons for this can be either one of the officers not yet been appointed or one of the officers refuse to accept the individual’s application under the Right to Information Act.
If such a problem is faced by an individual, imagine how difficult it would be to obtain the required information. This is where the Central Information Commissioner comes in the picture.
Composition of the CIC:
There is one Chief Commissioner and not more than 10 Information Commissioners who make up the entire Central Information Commission. All these commissioners are appointed by the President of India and it is their duty to provide assistance to the individuals who face difficulties in submitting an RTI application due to the above mentioned reasons.
Importance of the Central Information Commissioner:
When someone is there to hear your complaints, you feel assured. This is the assurance that the Central Information Commissioner provides along with his entire staff. Thus, the importance of the Central Information Commissioner can’t be undermined in making the implementation of RTI a success. The entire Central Information Commission acts as the backbone of the RTI 2005 since it provides the individuals with an alternative in case their applications are not accepted.
Had it not been for the information commission or the CIC, individuals would have no one to turn to if their applications got rejected by the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer. Also, since each officer is aware of the existence of the Central information Commission, the chances of them refusing an application are reduced.
What to do If an RTI Request is Not Being Answered?
Each state has its own policy when it comes to implementation of the RTI Act 2005 and it is not necessary that the policy of one state will be exactly similar to the policy of another.
If your RTI application concerns the problems that affects only your state and if you haven’t received any reply from the authorities to which your RTI application was addressed, you can submit a First Appeal to the authority.
If you don’t get any reply after filing a first appeal, you must approach the State Information Commission.
However, if the State Information Commission also fails to reply to your application, you can approach the State High Court and NOT the Central Information Commission.
The CIC will be involved only if the RTI query was sent to central government department.
A Small Example
Suppose there has been a road construction going on for months in your locality. It is a great obstacle to anyone travelling or passing by that road. In this case you must submit an RTI Application with the Municipal Corporation.
If they don’t respond to your RTI application, a first appeal can be made to the Appellate Authority. If that too remains unanswered, you can approach the State Information Commission. Even then if there is not satisfactory response, approaching the high court is the options and not the CIC.
This is because the road concerns is not a matter of the Central Government. Thus, it is a matter of the State, and the Central Information Commission will not interfere in a State matter.
Hope we have been able to clear your doubts and explain the role and importance of the Central Information Commissioner and his department.
Incase of any queries or doubts, feel free to get in touch or leave comments below.