Rawalpindi: Despite the order of the information commission, the anti-corruption establishment Rawalpindi has refused to provide the information under the Right Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013.
In response to an information request of a citizen Nadeem Umer, a local journalist, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has sent a letter to him stating that Punjab ACE Rules 2014 deals with the matter which comes in its jurisdiction, said rules did not empower ACE to furnish any information to any person as required by the applicant.
The notice further states that to ascertain the identity as a citizen of Pakistan you miserably failed to disclose your identity which is a clear violation of section 2(a) of Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 as you did not provide a copy of your CNIC until now.
It is pertinent to mention that a month ago, a voice recording of an alleged conversation between the appellant Nadeem Umer and former Director ACE Rawalpindi went viral, in which former director ACE was demanding Rs30, 000 as photocopies fee for the provision of the requested information.
When contacted the appellant he said the ACE never demanded photocopy of my CNIC for the processing of the information request, in-fact my CNIC number is mentioned on the information request and that is enough to prove my identity as a citizen of Pakistan.
Umer added that last month he had received a phone call from ACE office and the former director ACE demanded Rs30, 000 for photo copies of the requested documents, if agreed to pay the fee as per law and requested her to intimate the fee in writing, but when she came to know that I am journalist she cut the phone line with these comments “RTI se Aik Safa Le Kar Dekhao” (I see how you can receive a single paper from the ACE).
Umer maintained that implementation of the RTI law and to make sure the provision of the information is duty of the Punjab Information Commission, he has sent a letter to the commission regarding the issue and requested authority to play its role for implementation of the act.
It is pertinent to mention that through an order [dated 09.02.2021], the Director ACE was directed to appear before the commission in this particular case, but Director ACE neither attended the hearing nor provided the information to the citizen.