Judgements of the Central Information Commission Under RTI Act, 2005: A Study

DOI10.1177/0019556120140413
AuthorJyoti Rattan
Publication Date01 Oct 2014
SubjectArticle
JUDGEMENTS OF THE CENTRAL INFORMATION
COMMISSION UNDER RTI ACT, 2005: A STUDY
JYOTI RATTAN
International
and
national reasons led to enactment
of
the
Right to Information Act, 2005
in
India. An informed citizenry
and
transparency
of
information, removing corruption
and
to
hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountqble
for
their actions are main objectives
of
RT/
Act enacted in 2005.
To
achieve these
o~jectives,
the Public authorities are
empowered to appoint Central
and
State PIOs IQ disclose
information
and
to make this Act a reality. Significantly, only
citizens
of
India are entitled to exercise their right under this
Act. However, to enable aggrieved applicants to redress
t~eir
grievances, the
Act
provides
for
establishment
of
two
Commis~·ions,
i.e., the Central Information Commission
(CIC)
and
the State Information Commissions (S/Cs).
The
author
has made a humble attempt to analyse judgments
of
the CIC.
INTRODUCTION
IN
KNOWLEDGE
society
of
21st
Century,
secrecy
in
government
functioning has become a thing
of
the past and efforts were made
at
national
as well as international level to make a law
of
Right to lnfor.mation. Further,
"Administrative secrecy has become such a barrier to the full development
of
democracy that in recent years other commonwealth countries along
with Scandinavia, the United States, and France have passed a law providing
for public's right to access to administrative information".1
Various International Instruments directly or indirectly laid emphasis
on right to information, transparency, open government and accountability
in
government
functioning.
Two
such
instruments
are:
Universal
Declaration on Human Rights, 19482; International Covenant on Civil and
1Goel.
S.
L.
"Right to Information
and
Good
Governance",
Deep
and
Deep Publications
Pvt.
Ltd.,
New
Delhi,
p.
40, 2007.
2Article
19-lt
provides that "everyone has right to freedom
of
opinions without
interference
and
to seek. review
and
impart information
and
ideas through
any
media
and
regard::·;_.
,11
.iny
frontier:·
920 I
INDIAN
JOURNAL
OF
PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION
VOL.
LX.
NO.
4,
OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2014
Political Rights, 1966.3 In India, International and national reasons led to
enactment
of
the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Jt is commendable to note that an informed citizenry and transparency
of
information, removing corruption and to hold Governments and their
instrumentalities accountable for their actions are main objectives
of
RTI
Act enacted
in
2005. To achieve these objectives the Public authorities are
empowered to appoint Central and State Public Information Officers (PIOs)
to disclose information and to make this Act a reality. Significantly, only
citizens
of
India are entitled to exercise their right under this Act. However,
to enable aggrieved applicants to redress their grievances, the Act provides
for establishment
of
two Commissions, i.e., the CIC and SICs.
The
Central Information Commission (CIC)
The
Act provides for the constitution
of
the Central Information
Commission (CIC) to be responsible for the implementation
of
the Act,
exercising powers conferred on it under the Act. The CIC, under this
Section, consists
of
one
Chief
Information Commissioner, who will head
the Commission, and such number
of
Central Information Commissioners,
as may be deemed necessary, but not exceeding I 0.
Power and Functions
of
the CIC
It is iryiportant to note that under Sections
18
and
19
of
the
RTI
Act
2005, the CIC is empowered to receive complaints and to decide appeal
respectively.
Power to Decide Complaint
Under
Section 18(1) a complaint can be filed before the Central
Information Commission
or
the State Information Commission by any
person who was unable to submit his application to the Public Information
Officer because no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or the
Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public
Information Officer, has refused to accept his
or
her application for
3
lt
provides that:
(a) Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to freedom
of
expression and this right shall include
freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
ofall
kinds, regardless
of
frontiers, either orally,
in
writing or
in
print,
in
the form
of
art,
or
through any other
media
of
his choice.
(c) The exercise
of
the rights provided for
in
paragraph (b)
of
this article carries with it
special duties and responsibilities.
It
may therefore be subject to certain restrictions,
but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(i)
For
respect
of
the rights or reputations
of
others;
(ii)
For the protection
of
national security
or
of
public order (order public),
or
of
public health or morals.

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