Report on the performance of Information Commissions (ICs) in India, 2021-22

Report on the performance of Information Commissions (ICs) in India, 2021-22

Recently, Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) has released Report on the performance of information commissions (IC) in India, 2021-22.

Key Findings of report-

  • Pending complaints: Around 3.15 lakh complaints or appeals are pending with the Information Commissions.
  • Delay in appointment: Delay in appointment to vacancies in Information Commissions by the Center and States is the primary reason for the increasing workload in the Commissions.
  • Vacancies in Information Commissions: In Jharkhand and Tripura all the posts of the Commission including Information Commissioner are vacant.
  • Time Required for Disposal of Appeal/Complaint: While the Central Information Commission (CIC) takes 11 months to dispose of a complaint, many State Information Commissions (SICs) take more than 2 years.
  • Reluctant to penalize: Information commissions have not imposed fines on erring officials in 95% of cases.
  • Opacity in functioning: 69% of Information Commissions have not published their Annual Report for the year 2020-21.
  • Sex Ratio: Only 5% of the posts are filled by women.

The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 empowers citizens to get information from public authorities.

If the information sought is refused, the RTI applicant can file an appeal against the decision of the Public Information Officers (PIOs).

Public Information Officers are officers nominated by public authorities in all administrative offices. They are appointed to provide information under the RTI Act

Central Information Commission (CIC)

  • CIC was established by the Central Government in the year 2005 under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (2005). It is not a constitutional body.
  • It consists of a Chief Information Commissioner, and not more than ten Information Commissioners.
  • He is appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • The jurisdiction of the Commission extends to all the Central Public Authorities.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner may hold office for a period as may be prescribed by the Central Government or till the age of 65 years (whichever is earlier). They are not eligible for reappointment.

State Information Commission:

It is constituted by the state government. It consists of a State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and a maximum of 10 State Information Commissioners (SIC) to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Appointments Committee headed by the Chief Minister.

Source – The Hindu

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