Right to Information

65 cases against PIC’s verdicts pending before high courts

ISLAMABD: Around 65 decisions of the Pakistan Information Commission that were challenged are still pending in the High Courts, The Reporters has learnt.

As per details, a total of 73 PIC orders have been challenged so far in different High Courts. Five of it have been upheld, two have been reversed, and one has been disposed of.

The remaining 65 rulings are still pending before the courts.  Out of them, 36 PIC orders have been suspended, while in 29 cases, notices are issued to respondents and proceedings are taking place in the relevant High Courts.

The Islamabad High Court has reversed its judgement in two Commission orders in the cases of Amer Ejaz VS. Comsats University and Muhammad Rehan Paracha VS. PTCL.

In Muhammad Nawaz vs Survey of Pakistan case, the IHC had rejected the appeal of appellant seeking implementation of the Commission’s ruling.

According to the PIC’s annual report, the Senate Secretariat instead of following the commission’s order or challenging it in Islamabad High Court as required by the Act, sent the commission a letter stating that “Chairman Senate is authorised to declare any, or all, records of the Senate Secretariat as classified.”

The Senate Secretariat was contacted for information on the overall number of sanctioned vacant posts, and the disability quota that the commission had declared to be public under the 2017 Right to Access to Information Act.

Some of the public interest Orders of the commission pertain to the right of access to information/records of officers with disabilities on equal basis with others, the issue of minimum wage of sanitary workers and security guards, rights of passangers and patients, constitutionality of right to information, declaration of records more than 20 years old as public record, disclosure of information pertaining to the fees paid to the lawyers from public funds and declaration of SNGPL, Pakistan Cricket Board and Islamabad Club as a public body.

The commission has also issued 661 judgements in response to citizen appeals of federal public institutions that have unlawfully delayed or refused access to information, the annual report claims. The majority of the orders, 58 in total, were against the Ministry of Defence and its associated departments.

Twenty orders were issued against CDA followed by 16 against FBR and 14 against Ministry of Interior.

Twelve orders were issued against the Ministries of Law and Justice and Foreign Affairs, 13 against the FIA and NBP, 11 each against NADRA and ECP, while  10 ruling against AIOU and the National Assembly Secretariat.

Saddia Mazhar

Saddia Mazhar, an accomplished Investigative Journalist hailing from District Sahiwal, Punjab, possesses a fervor for unveiling impactful narratives. With a demonstrated history of hosting radio shows, web TV programs, contributing to esteemed publications, and steering digital media platforms, she stands as a notable figure in the field. Connect with her on Twitter @SaddiaMazhar. She can be contacted at thesaddia@gmail.com
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