Central Information Commission & Competition Commission

The Act relating to the Right to Information (2003) provides for the organization of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to be responsible for the implementation of the Act, exercising powers conferred on it under Section 18 of the Act. The CIC, under this Section, consists of one Chief Information Commissioner, and such number of Central Information Commissioners, as may be deemed necessary, but not exceeding ten.

The powers and functions of the CIC are :

(i) to receive and inquire into complaints from any person relating to access to information under the control of public authorities and to decide appeals against the decisions of designated appellate officers;

(ii) impose penalties on erring Central Public Information Officers and recommend disciplinary action against those who have, without any reasonable cause denied access to information under the provisions of the Act or deprived a citizen of his/her right to access information with public authorities in a malafide manner. Thequantum of penalty liable to be imposed is ` 250 each day till the application is received or information is furnished subject to the total amount not exceeding ` 25,000;

(iii) to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other damage suffered;

(iv) make recommendations to public authorities not conforming to the provisions or the spirit of the Act, specifying the steps which, in its opinion, they ought to take for promoting such conformity;� to inquire into a complaint under Section 18, the CIC has the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, for the following purposes summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;

  • requiring the discovery and inspection of documents; v receiving evidence on affidavit
  • requisitioning any public record or copes thereof from any court or office;
  • issuing summons for examinations of witnesses or documents; and
  • any other matter which may be prescribed the Commission�s annual report is placed before the Parliament every year.

The Commission has proposed to set up a National Institute of Accountability and Transparency. This Centre would be an extended arm of the Commission, functioning as single point of contact for undertaking research on accountability and transparency issues and setting up a database of best practices undertaken around the world in this regard.

Competition Commission

The Competition Commission was set up in 2003 as per the Competition Act of 2002 and as amended in 2007. The Commission became fully functional in 2009. Its purpose was to bring in force reasonable changes in modern competition as also the smooth functioning of the various forms of competition. The Commission has one chairman and six members. All the members of the Commission are appointed by the Union Government. Its objectives, as enshrined in the Competition Act are as under:

(i) Make the markets work for the benefit and welfare of consumers.

(ii) Ensure fair and healthy competition in economic activities in the country for faster and inclusive growth and development of economy.

(iii) Implement competition policies with an aim to effectuate the most efficient utilization of economic resources.

(iv) Develop and nurture effective relations and interactions with sectoral regulators to ensure smooth alignment of sectoral regulatory laws in tandem with the competition law.

(v) Effectively carry out competition advocacy and spread the information on benefits of competition among all stakeholders to establish and nurture competition culture in Indian economy. In June, 2012, the CCI imposed a fine of ` 6,307 crore on 11 cement companies for cartelization.

The CCI claimed that cement companies met regularly to fix prices, control market share and hold back supply which earned them illegal profits. In 2013, the CCI imposed a penalty of ` 52.54 crore on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for misusing its dominant position. The CCI found that IPL team ownership agreement were unfair and discriminatory, and that the terms of the IPL franchise agreements were loaded in favour of BCCI.

National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM)

The Union Government appointed a commission known as the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities in 2004 to ensure that all the issues relating to the religious and linguistic minorities are properly addressed to.

  • The Commission was headed by Justice Ranganathan Mishra. Its mandate was:
  • Suggesting the government for genuine and effective criteria for the socially and economically backward sections identified with special focus on the religious and linguistic minorities.
  • Suggesting recommendations and suitable measures for the complete social welfare of religious and linguistic minorities by keeping in view their economic and social backwardness.
  • Prepare a framework for the reservation issue in the education sector and in the employments in government offices.
  • Guidance for the development of modalities for required constitutional, legal and administrative options to implement and to advise recommendations.

The Mishra Commission gave its report in 2007. The major findings of the report were: v

15ft of jobs in government services and seats in educational institutions be reserved for minorities v Reserve 8.4ft out of existing OBC quota of 27ft for minorities �SC reservation to Dalit converts

Written by princy

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