Kerala State Information Commission

Kerala State Information Commission

The Kerala State Information Commission is an autonomous statutory body* established under the provisions of section 15(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 by the state government of Kerala through a notification in the Official Gazette. 

Central Information Commission & State Information Commission is an important topic that is included in the syllabus for various Kerala PSC such as 10th level preliminary and mains, Plus two level preliminary and mains, Degree level prelims, and mains, etc.

Basic Facts

Palat Mohandas
  • Established on – 2005 December 19.
  • Headquarters – Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Motto – Soochna Janadhikaraha.
  • Total Members – 11 (Chairman & 10 members).
  • First State Chief Information Commissioner – Palat Mohandas.
  • Current State Chief Information Commissioner – Hari V. Nair.

Structure of Kerala State Information Commission

The Kerala SIC is comprised of 11 members. Out of which one is State Chief Information Commissioner, and the rest are Information Commissioners.
  • Appointed by – Governor. 
  • Term – 3 years or till the age of 65 years.
  • Removed by – Governor.
  • Selection Committee Members: (3 members)
    • Chief Minister (Head / Chairman),
    • State Cabinet Minister (nominated by the CM),
    • Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.
The State Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners may resign after submitting the resignation letter to the Governor. 

The Governor can also remove a member of the commission for proven bankruptcy, unsound mind, infirmity of body or mind, sentenced to imprisonment for a crime, or engagement in paid employment.

Currently (dated April 2022), SIC has one State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) and 5 Information Commissioners.

Qualifications for members of SIC

  • They should not be a Member of Parliament or a Legislator in any State or Union Territory. 
  • They should not hold any other profit-making post, be affiliated with any political party, or engage in any business.
  • They should be prominent figures with extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of law, science, technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media, or administration and governance. 

RTI Amendment Act, 2019

The Right to Information Act (RTI) 2005 was amended in 2019 and it has much controversy associated with it. Details of the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 are given below:
  • Bill Presented by – Jitendra Singh (Minister of State for Development of North Eastern region).
    • Presented on – 2019 July 19.
    • Passed by Lok Sabha – 2019 July 22.
    • Passed by Rajya Sabha – 2019 July 25.
    • President signed the Bill on – 2019 August 01.
    • Enforced as Act on – 2019 October 24.
  • The term of office was reduced from 5 to 3 years.
  • Salary for Central /State Information Commissioner and other Information Commissioners are determined by the Central Govt.
  • Salary for commission members was restructured as follows:
    • State Chief Information Commissioner & Information Commissioners – ₹2,25000/-

List of State Chief Information Commissioners of SIC

The Former State Chief Information Commissioners of SIC are as follows:

Sl. No.NameTerm

Palat Mohandas

21 Dec 2005  01 Oct 2010


Dr. Siby Mathews

23 April 2011 – 23 April 2016


Vinson M. Paul

06 May 2016 – 21 Nov 2020


Dr. Vishwas Mehta

01 Feb 2021 – Incumbent

Powers & Functions of SIC

As per Chapter 5 of the RTI Act, 2005, the SIC has the following powers and functions, namely:
  • Inquiry into Complaints
    •  It shall be the duty of the Commission to receive and inquire into complaints from persons aggrieved by any of the reasons given under section 18 (1)  of the Act.  
    • Where the Commission is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry thereof.  
    • While conducting an inquiry into a complaint, the Commission shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the matters given under section  18 (3) of the Act.  
    • During an inquiry into a complaint under this Act,  the Commission can examine any record to which the RTI Act applies which is under the control of the Public Authority.
  • Deciding 2nd Appeals
    • Section 19(3)  of the RTI Act provides for 2nd appeal before the Central/State Information Commission.  
    • The 2nd appeal shall lie within  90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received from the first appellate authority. 
    •  The Information Commission may admit the 2nd appeal after the expiry of the period of 90 days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.   
    • While making a decision,   the State Information Commission has the power to require the Public Authority to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act -
      •  (a)    by providing access to information
      •  (b)    by appointing  the State Public Information Officer
      •  (c)    by publishing  certain information or categories of information
      •  (d)    by making necessary changes  to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management, and destruction of records
      •  (e)     by enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its officials
      •  (f)       by providing an annual report in compliance with clause (b) of sub-section  (1) of section 4 of the Act.
    • The second appeals filed before the State Information Commission are decided in accordance with the Kerala State Information Commission (Procedure for appeal) Rules, 2006, notified by the Government of Kerala vide notification  No.27774/Cdn.5/2006/GAD dated 31.5.06.
    • In appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that the denial of the request was justified shall be on the Public Information Officer who denied the request.  If the appeal relates to information of a 3rd party, the 3rd party shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before a decision is made by the Information Commission.
  • Awarding Compensation
    • Section 19(8)(b) of the  RTI Act empowers the Information Commission to require the Public Authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered.
  • Imposing Penalties
    • Under S.20 (1) of the RTI Act, 2005 The State Information Commission has the power to impose a penalty on the State Public Information Officer for the  following  defaults:
    • Where the State Public Information Officer has -
      1.  without reasonable cause refused to receive an application for information  or has not furnished information  within the specified time limit or
      2.   malafidely denied the request for information or
      3.   knowingly  given incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information or
      4.   destroyed information which was the subject of the request, or
      5.   obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information.
    •  The Penalty provided under section  20(1) of the RTI Act is Rs.250/- each day till the application is received or information is furnished.  The total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees.
    •  Before imposing any penalty,  the Commission shall give the State Public  Information Officer a reasonable opportunity of being heard.  The burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the State Public Information Officer.
  • Recommending disciplinary Action
    • Where the State Information Commission, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the State Public Information Officer has, without any reasonable cause and persistently, failed to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or maladroitly denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, the Commission can recommend for disciplinary action against the State Public Information Officer, under the service rules applicable to him under section 20(2) of the Act.
    The State Information Commission submits its annual report to the State Government.

Keep Reading Kerala PSC Repeated Questions on


  • International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) – September 28.
  • The states/UTs in India where the RTI Act is not applicable – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh (As of 2019, RTI is applicable to these states/UTs as a result of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act).
  • First person to file the RTI application in India – Shahid Raza Burney (Oct 12, 2005).
  • Chief information Commissioner of India – Heeralal Samariya (16th).  
    • Information Commissioners: Anandi Ramalingam, Vinod Kumar Tiwari.

Thanks for reading!!!