Nothing in the RTI Act empowers CIC to constitute any committee or conduct any enquiry on its behalf – Bombay High Court

Nothing in the RTI Act empowers CIC to constitute any committee or conduct any enquiry on its behalf – Bombay High Court

India is taken into account because of the largest democracy within the world. The essential feature of each democratic setup is transparency, openness and accountability. In India, public authorities or administrative authorities have good discretionary power, so feel has been arisen within the mind of legislators also public that this might cause misuse of power which can ultimately end in maladministration and corruption. It is not only a statutory right but also a fundamental right of a citizen to know the information related to the public act performed by public authorities. It is fundamental for good governance and makes governmental authorities more transparent and accountable towards the common people of a country.

There is a proximate relation between Right to information and Administrative law as Administrative law can be defined as “branch of public law deals with the operation performed by administrative authorities”, and Right to Information empowers the general public to access information held by public authorities. It embedded each citizen of India to possess access or control of the knowledge associated with finance to any authority by the state, thereby responsibility arises on the authority to use the knowledge effectively without including into any corrupt activities.

Features of the Right To Information Act, 2005:

  • Public authorities have a requirement to supply any information which is claimed by a citizen.
  • Public authorities are under the requirement that they have to circulate the knowledge to the one that demands the knowledge. However, this Act comes with certain obligations concerning the safety of the state, personal information & other person’s information.
  • There may be a deadline on the authority to offer information within 30 days.
  • If the authority denies providing any quite information then the person has the facility to travel to the appellate authority. Later they will also choose the second appeal which falls under the “central information commission/state information commission”.
  • Local court commands can’t be entertained in these scenarios.

Bombay High Court on 15th January 2020:-

Nothing in the RTI Act equips CIC to constitute any committee or conduct any enquiry on its behalf.

The Division Bench comprising of Justice KK stated and Justice SV Kotwal was hearing on the case of Chief Public Information and Anr V. Chief Information Commissioner and Anr. where in an order dated 28th April 2017 was challenged passed by Information Commissioner directing the CMD and the Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs to conduct a detailed enquiry and submit the report to the commission.

Court stayed the implementation of the said order passed by Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner, CIC and the issue before the Court was that there is nothing in Section 19 of the Act which empowers the Information Commission, whether be Centre or State to conduct an enquiry or to constitute any committee regarding the same, the petitioner’s Counsel Yogesh Bhate submitted before the court that the order passed by the Information Commission is beyond its Jurisdiction and highlighted the points on the case of Delhi Development Authority V. Central Information Commission & Anr.  

That none of the rules deals or specify anything related to the enquiry of the Central Information Commission, therefore there is nothing prescribed under the Act or any rules in the matter. Whereas the Central Information Commission can empower to a delegate a person with authority of enquiry under Section 18 of the Act. Hence accepting the arguments made by the petitioner and the judgement of the High Court of Delhi, the court admitted the writ petition and the prayer the clause (b) on the order to stay on the hearing of the Information Commissioner’s order pending in the order of the present petition.


The Act does not empowers the Central Information Commission to appoint a committee to conduct an inquiry on its behalf, the only rules that have been framed under Section 27 of the RTI Act, are the following: (i) The Right of Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005; and (ii) The Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules, 2005. None of these rules deals with the powers of inquiry of the Central Information Commission. Therefore, there is nothing prescribed either in the Act or the Rules made thereunder, whereby the Central Information Commission could be said to have been empowered to delegate its power of inquiry under Section 18 to some other person or a committee of persons.

Considering the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner and the authority in the matter of Delhi Development Authority vs. Central Information Commission & Anr., we are satisfied that the petitioners have made out a case for the following order. a) Admit. b) Interim relief in terms of prayer clause (b) which reads thus: “(b) Pending the hearing and final disposal of this Writ Petition, this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to stay the operation and implementation of the said order bearing File No. CIC/MP/C/ 2016/000171-BJ-Adjunct dated 28-04- 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Information Commissioner Mr. Bimal Julka of the Respondent No.1 on the Respondent No.2’s Complaint dated 28-05-2016 filed against the petitioners.” 

Central Information Commission:

The Central Information Commission has been constituted with effect from 12-10-2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.

The Commission has certain powers and functions mentioned in sections 18, 19, 20 and 25 of the RTI Act, 2005. These broadly relate to adjudication in the second appeal for giving information; direction for record-keeping, suo moto disclosures receiving and enquiring into a complaint on the inability to file RTI etc. The decisions of the Commission are final and binding.

Edited by Vartika Gajendra Singh

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje





4.   Delhi Development Authority vs Central Information Commission on 21 May 2010(WP (C) 12714/2009)