Right to Information

PIC fines Pakistan Railways’ officer for denying information request under RTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has imposed fine on the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) of Pakistan Railways for wilfully denying the provision of information to the citizen.

According to details, PIC has directed Chairman, Pakistan Railways to take measures to deduct 10 days salary of January 2022 of the Chief Personnel Officer / Public Information Officer, Pakistan Railways due to his reluctance to implement the order of the Commission.

PIC has imposed fine under Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 which states that the Information Commission shall have the power to Impose on the official a fine equivalent to his salary for one day, for a maximum of a hundred days, who has acted willfully to obstruct any activity which is required to be undertaken by this act; including preventing or delaying the disclosure of information to an applicant.

Fine imposed in pursuance of the order issued on June 02, 2021 in appeal no 756-12/20 filed by a citizen Dewan Adnan Amlak.

The appellant in November 2020 requested the Pakistan Railways to provide him information about total agricultural land and land other than agricultural land (Commercial etc) owned by Pakistan Railway situated within territorial limits of Km 228 to 244 at Haveli Wasawewala Railway Station, including measurement of land and AqsShijraParcha mentioning the Khasra Numbers and the location of the said land, Current status of the said properties/land whether leased or due to be leased also mentioning if any recovery is pending or any default been made by the lessee on account of payment of lease rent of the said properties and eligibility criteria (terms & conditions) for individuals to participate and to get the lease of the said land/properties in open auction.

PIC in pursuance of the appeal filed by the citizen in December 2020 issued a detailed verdict in June 2021 and directed the Chief Personal Officer of Pakistan Railway to provide the requested information to the citizen within 10 working days.

The public body was also directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the web site all categories of information mentioned in Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 and submit the compliance report to the commission by June 27,2021.

Despite the order of the Commission, Pakistan Railways neither provided the requested information to the citizen nor submitted any compliance report to the Commission.

PIC to make sure compliance of the order issued multiple show cause notices to the Chief Personal Officer of Pakistan Railways but he did not respond to that as well.

On January 05, 2022, PIC exercising power given in Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 has imposed fine on the Chief Personal Officer of Pakistan Railways and directed the Chairman, Pakistan Railways to submit compliance report by February 10, 2022.

Nadeem Tanoli

Nadeem Tanoli is a seasoned journalist and a member of the National Press Club. With over a decade of experience, he has contributed to various Urdu and English newspapers. Recognized for his dedication to transparency and accountability, he is a recipient of the Right to Information Champion Award. For inquiries, he can be reached at nadeemumer6@gmail.com.
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