Despite receiving the last opportunity from the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC), Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqat is ‘reluctant’ to share information under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017.
The Commission, in its last warning, has directed the Islamabad deputy commissioner to provide the requisite information within 10 working days. The Commission will be left with no other option but to invoke Section 20(f) of the Right to Information Act 2017, if the requested information is not provided, PIC notice reads.
As per details, Section 20(f) of the RTI law empowers the concerned Commission to impose a minimum fine equivalent to one day salary and for a maximum of one hundred days on the official who has acted willfully to obstruct any activity which is required to be undertaken by this act, including preventing or delaying the disclosure of the information to an applicant.
Earlier, Deputy District Attorney Amjad Ali submitted partial information before the Commission, but two questions were not satisfactorily answered.
In spite of their commitment to provide the remaining information within three days, the DC office could not comply with the Commission directions, which it is committed to provide under the right to information law.
“You are given a final opportunity to provide the requisite information within 10 working days or the Commission will be left with no other option but to invoke Section of the Right to Information Act 2017,” the notification states.
It is to mention here that the citizen has sought information regarding the officials found guilty in the inquiry for issuance of illegal licenses and list of reasons caused the ban on issuance of license in Islamabad.
Abdullah Mohmad, a resident of Islamabad, said that he had filed the application to the district administration for the information regarding details of licenses issued by the ICT administration under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017, but the administration neither responded to his application nor fulfilling the Pakistan Information Commission directions.
He said after not getting any response from the deputy commissioner’s office, he filed a complaint with the Pakistan Information Commission, adding that the Commission also issued warnings to the administration but he didn’t receive the requested information yet.
When asked why he wanted the record, he said he wants to make a comparison report based on the information. He was curious that if the district administration handled all the administrative affairs in a transparent manner then why is it reluctant to share the requested information.
It is pertinent to mention here that in July 2020, the Commission through a verdict has directed the deputy commissioner Islamabad to share the requested information about the committees but despite the passage of six months the DC office didn’t comply with the directions of the Commission.
Meanwhile, the district administration is obliged to nominate a designated officer under the RTI law but the deputy commissioner has yet to nominate its public information officer as required under the RTI act.