The powers and functions of the Central Information Commission are:
1. It is the duty of the Commission to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person:
(a) who has not been able to submit an information request because of non-appointment of a Public Information Officer;
(b) who has been refused information that was requested;
(c) who has not received response to his information request within the specified time limits;
(d) who thinks the fees charged are unreasonable;
(e) who thinks information given is incomplete, misleading or false; and
(f) any other matter relating to obtaining information.
2. The Commission can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable grounds (suo-moto power).
3. While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court in respect of the following matters:
(a) summoning and enforcing attendance of persons and compelling them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce documents or things;
(b) requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d) requisitioning any public record from any court or office;
(e) issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and
(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.
4. During the inquiry of a complaint, the Commission may examine any record which is under the control of the public authority and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds. In other words, all public records must be given to the Commission during inquiry for examination.
5. The Commission has the power to secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority. This includes:
(a) providing access to information in a particular form;
(b) directing the public authority to appoint a Public Information Officer where none exists;
(c) publishing information or categories of information;
(d) making necessary changes to the practices relating to management, maintenance and destruction of records;
(e) enhancing training provision for officials on the right to information;
(f) seeking an annual report from the public authority on compliance with this Act;
(g) requiring the public authority to compensate for any loss or other detriment suffered by the applicant;
(h) imposing penalties under this Act5; and
(i) rejecting the application.
6. The Commission submits an annual report to the Central Government on the implementation of the provisions of this Act. The Central Government places this report before each House of Parliament.
7. When a public authority does not conform to the provisions of this Act, the Commission may recommend (to the authority) steps which ought to be taken for promoting such conformity.