Right to Information

Pakistan Information Commission Fines PESCO Chief for Withholding Information

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has levied a fine equivalent to 15 days’ salary on the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) for violating the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017, by not providing information to a citizen.

Citizen Wasim Mehsud had appealed to the PIC, seeking details about transformers, HT and LT poles, wires, and related information in district Tank over the past three years. The citizen’s request included information on the installations’ locations, types of equipment used, and any maintenance or repairs carried out. Additionally, he sought details about officials responsible for collecting money on illegal connections and any related inquiries.

Despite multiple hearing notices, no representative from PESCO appeared before the Commission. Consequently, the Commission proceeded with ex parte proceedings, instructing PESCO to provide the requested information within 10 days, excluding the location details due to security concerns.

However, the CEO of PESCO failed to comply with the order, neither submitting a response nor appearing before the Commission, even after a show cause notice was issued. In response to PESCO’s non-compliance, the PIC invoked Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, imposing the fine on the CEO.

The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) Secretary has been instructed to deduct the penalty from the CEO’s salary and submit a compliance report. The Commission has reiterated its earlier order, urging PESCO to promptly share the requested information.

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