‘Sushma Singh’ has been appointed as the next Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India succeeding Deepak Sandhu (the first female CIC) who will finish her term at the end of December this year (2013). She, the senior-most Information Commissioner among the present lot, was chosen unanimously by a panel comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Law Minister Kapil Sibal.
What is Central Information Commission (CIC):
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) is a nodal law enforcement agency for the RTI related cases.
- It was set up under the Right to Information Act 2005 in the same year.
- The Commission includes one Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and not more than 10 Information Commissioners (IC) who are appointed by the President.
- Its headquartered is in Delhi.
Chief Information Commissioner:
- He/she is appointed for a term of 5 years or to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- He/she can’t be reappointed.
- His/her Salary will be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner.
Powers and Functions of Information Commissions:
It receives complaints from those whose right to information is being unreasonably restricted. Like from :
- The one whose information request has not been submitted for whatever reasons.
- One who has been refused information that was requested.
- One who has not been given the required information within the specified time limits
- One who thinks the fees charged as unreasonable or the information given as incomplete/false/misleading
It has the powers of Civil Court to order inquiry if there are reasonable grounds and to penalize the public authority if found erring.
It has also been given the authority to secure compliance of its decisions from the concerned Public Authorities.
Chief Information Commissioners so far:
- Wajahat Habibullah
- A N Tiwari
- Satyananda Mishra
- Deepak sandhu (Incumbent)
- Sushma Singh (designated)
Right To Information Act:
- The RTI Act enables citizens to seek and get information from a “public authority” expeditiously or within thirty days.
- It also mandates every public authority to computerise their records for wide and easy dissemination of information of general utility.
- The law came fully into force on October 13, 2005.
- Though the act also firewall disclosure of sensitive Information by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and the likes.