ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has ordered deduction of 100 days’ salary of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for failing to provide requested information to appellants, despite clear orders from the Commission.
The decision comes after two separate appeals filed by citizens Mr. Tariq Raheem and Farooq e Azam.
The appellants had sought information related to an inquiry conducted against them, including copies of witness statements, cross-examination records, and other relevant documents. The Commission, in an order dated 21-02-2023, directed the public body to furnish the required information to the appellants within 10 days. However, this order was not adhered to, leading to the subsequent actions taken by the PIC.
In response to the non-compliance, multiple show cause notices were issued to the CEO of PIA under Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017, requiring him to explain why penal proceedings should not be initiated against him. Regrettably, the CEO neither appeared before the Commission nor submitted a reply to the show cause notices issued by the PIC.
Consequently, on Tuesday, the Pakistan Information Commission passed orders in both appeals, instructing the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of PIA to deduct 50 days’ salary from the CEO’s compensation in each appeal and deposit the same in the treasury account of the Government of Pakistan.
The PIC’s order emphasized that the CEO’s actions demonstrated a deliberate delay in sharing information with the appellants, despite the Commission’s order issued on 21-02-23. Furthermore, the CEO’s failure to respond to the show cause notices indicated lack of explanation or defense for his actions, leaving the Commission with no choice but to impose penalties as per Section 20(f) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017. Consequently, a fine equivalent to the deduction of 50 days’ salary of the CEO of PIA in each appeal has been imposed upon him.
The Pakistan Information Commission has also sought a report on the deduction of the fine from the CEO’s salary, which is to be provided on October 18, 2023.