Right to Information

Provision of Information: IHC suspends PIC’s ruling against Islamabad Club

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended the Pakistan Information Commission’s (PIC) order against the Islamabad Club.

While hearing a writ petition 3355/2020 filed by the administrator Islamabad Club, IHC ordered that the PIC order dated 19th August 2020 as well as the show cause notice dated October 28, 2020 shall remain suspended.

The petitioner – Islamabad Club – contends that the Islamabad Club is not a public body within the definition of terms as provided under section 2 (ix) of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017.

It is also contended that the Islamabad Club had not received any public funding; hence, it is not susceptible to provision of the record within the Act of 2017. In support of his contentions, the petitioner placed reliance on case titled as “Hakeem Muhammad Saeed VS Deputy Commissioner Vehari, and Others” (PLD 2020 Lahore).

The court has sent notice to the respondents i.e. PIC, Secretary Ministry of Finance, Secretary Cabinet Division and the citizen – Nadeem Umer – for December 17, 2020.
It is pertinent to mention that the said order was passed by the PIC on August 19, 2020 on an appeal of citizen – Nadeem Umer – who approached the commission when the Islamabad Club refused to provide some information requested by him under the Right of Access to Information Act 2017.

Also Read: Islamabad Club spread on 352 acres land pays only Rs 27000 annually rent

The citizen had sought information about the financial audit reports, revenue generated by the club through the commercial activities and the number of its members.

The order of PIC reveals that Islamabad Club pays Rs 77 rupees per acre as lease rent to the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Order states that the club is utilising the government land, on the lease, under its use. On this score alone the club comes within the definition of “public body” as mentioned in section 2(ix)(h) of the Act, order states.

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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