18. Powers and functions of Information Commission.—
Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission as the case may be to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person,—
who has been unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information Officer, or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, either by reason that no such officer has been appointed under this Act, or because the Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has refused to accept his or her application for information or appeal under this Act for forwarding the same to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer or Senior Officer specified in sub‑section (1) of section 19 or the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be;
who has been refused access to any information requested under this Act;
who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limits specified under this Act;
who has been required to pay an amount of fee which he or she considers unreasonable;
who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information under this Act; and
in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Act.
Where the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire into the matter, it may initiate an inquiry in respect thereof.
The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, 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 following matters, namely:—
summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;
requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
receiving evidence on affidavit;
requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office;
issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and
any other matter which may be prescribed.
Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other Act of Parliament, or the State Legislature, as the case may be, the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may, during the inquiry of any complaint under this Act, examine any record to which this Act applies which is under the control of the public authority, and no such record may be withheld from it on any grounds.