- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Central Information Commission
What to study?
- For Prelims: About CIC and appointments of CIC and ICs.
- For Mains: Reasons for delay in appointments, concerns, challenges posed and measures to fast- track appointments.
Context: The Centre is all set to fill the vacancies in the Central Information Commission (CIC).
The 11-member Commission, the highest appeal body available to applicants seeking information under the RTI Act, is currently operating with only three members in the wake of multiple retirements. The eight vacancies include the Chief Information Commissioner, who completed his tenure last month.
How is Central Information Commission constituted?
Under the provision of Section-12 of RTI Act 2005 the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a body to be known as the Central Information Commission.
Composition: The Central Information Commission shall consist of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and such number of Central Information Commissioners not exceeding 10 as may be deemed necessary.
What is the eligibility criteria and what is the process of appointment of CIC/IC?
Section 12(3) of the RTI Act 2005 provides as follows.
The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of
- The Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee.
- The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
- A Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
Who can be CIC and ICs?
Section 12(5) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners shall 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.
Section 12(6) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that Chief Information Commissioner or an Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.
What is the term of office and other service conditions of CIC?
- Section 13 of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the Chief Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall not be eligible for reappointment:
- Section 13(5)(a) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner.
What is the term of office and other service conditions of IC?
- Section 13(2) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the Information Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall not be eligible for reappointment as such Information Commissioners provided.
- Provided that every Information Commissioner shall on vacating his office under this sub-section be eligible for appointment as the Chief Information Commissioner in the manner specified in sub-section (3) of section 12 of the RTI Act 2005:
- Provided further that where the Information Commissioner is appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner, his term of office shall not be more than five years in aggregate as the Information Commissioner and the Chief Information Commissioner.
- Section 13(5)(b) of the RTI Act 2005 provides that the salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of an Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of an Election Commissioner.
Sources: the hindu.
Mains Question: How is Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) appointed to the office of Chief Information Commission? In your opinion what should be an ideal procedure to appoint CIC?