Current AffairsRight to Information

Director ACE Rawalpindi warned Rs 50k penalty if no response is made in a given time

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Information Commission (PIC) has warned Anti-Corruption Establishment Rawalpindi Director Kanwal Batool for Rs50,000 penalty if she didn’t provide requested information under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017.

In pursuance of a complaint filed by Nadeem Umer from Rawalpindi, the director was earlier summoned to appear before the PIC on February 9 to explain why the requested information was not provided to the citizen despite multiple directions of the Commission.
According to the PIC’s order, no one appeared on the date of hearing before the Commission from the ACE Rawalpindi.

The order sheet states that the public information officer Attiqueur Rehman was twice apprised on telephone to expedite the matter, given the legal obligation of the Commission to dispose of RTI appeal for 30 days.
Almost 30 days elapsed but the Commission didn’t receive any response from the respondent yet.

At the same time, the appellant has intimated on telephone that he was verbally directed by ACE regional director to deposit Rs 30,000 charges as per cost of schedule but he could not deposit for not being issued written direction through requested by the complainant.
It appears that the matter is lingering for some ‘egoistic’ attitudes having no regard to the sanctity fundamental right to information. Whatever is the position in reality, no response from the public office in respect of a fundamental right cannot be tolerated.

The PIC, in its order, states ACE director must keep in mind that complete in-action of the PIO has made her liable for all responsibilities of PIO vide Rule 3(4) of the RTI rules 2014. The Commission has issued a final direction to ACE Rawalpindi Regional Director Kanwal Batool to personally intervene into the matter to perform all functions of PIO.

If she has any valid objection either on account of deposit of charges or otherwise, it must be submitted in writing before the commission within 3 days of the receipt of this order; otherwise to forward certified copies of information at given address of appellant.

It is warned that the Commission shall be constrained to award a penalty of Rs50, 000 if no response is made even uptil date of hearing.

 

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